About South Africa
The first grapevine plantations were established by the Dutch settlers in 1864. In 1991, after the end of Apartheid, reforms and investments allowed the country to create a new wine industry.
Whites predominantly come from the steen grape variety (the local chenin blanc) which is classified as sec, demi-sec and liquorreux. Lately, sauvignon, riesling, gewurztraminer and chardonnay are generally used.
Reds especially come from cinsault blended with pinot noir. This original speciality is called pinotage. Cabernet-sauvignon, merlot and syrah are more and more often used.
The country ranks 9th worldwide its wine production, 80% of which nowadays is dominated by the cooperative cellars nowadays. It stretches over 100,000 hectares, almost as much as the vineyard of Bordeaux. Its wine landscapes are considered amongst the most aesthetic in the world, notably around Capetown.
Warmth is very intense in South Africa. Because of this, producers are concentrated not far from the Cape of Good Hope where oceanic air is cooler.