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January 30 2016 Wine Newsletter

Hi there

I am back in the wine lands of South Africa, typing this overlooking the blue seas of False Bay and Cape Town to my left, andon the right it Waterkloof winery perched on a hill above vineyards.

It's vintage time here and there's been some fierce bush fires, which suggested my latest article, below.

Over Christmas I was in the Canary Islands from where the California grape variety now known as Mission was taken by Spanish missionaries to the New World. But how did it survive in America when other European varieties died? I try to answer that interesting question in the previous article linked to below.

Remember if you have ay wine questions or just want to say hello I am delighted to hear from you by email or posting on the forum.

Here's the latest articles from the Wine site at

What causes that smoky taste found in some wines?
South African red wines are often noted as smoky by reviewers. The cause has been put down to local soils or winemaking practises. But the actual reason appears to be much simpler and, with hindsight, obvious. And it's avoidable.

How did Mission Survive in America?
How could the European grape variety Mission be planted and survive in the Americas when it's home to phylloxera? It was phylloxera on American vines taken to Europe in the late 1800s that destroyed Europe’s vineyards and then spread around the world.

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I hope to hear from you sometime soon, either in the forum or in response to this email message. I thrive on your feedback!

Have fun passing this message along to family and friends, because we all love free knowledge!

Peter F May, Wine Editor

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