South Africa wine country is a place where dreams come true for travel enthusiasts and wine lovers alike. The mountains, forests, coasts, and desserts are a pleasure for the eyes, while the wines are a delight for the palate.
Diversified Grape Varieties of South Africa Wine Country
Grapes such as Sauvignon Blanc, Colombard, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz, and Pinotage grow on 130,000 hectares. Colombard and Chenin Blanc in particular are the most white varieties. Tropical fruity wines with fresh acidity are typical of the Chenin Blanc from South Africa. Some wineries also produce sparkling and sparkling wines from the versatile grape. As a food companion, it cuts a fine figure with seafood, fish, sushi, white meat, and salads. Classic Cape Pinotage has aromas of roasted coffee notes, dark chocolate, and berries. Many wineries expand their pinotage in wooden barrels. Perfect food matches with Pinotage are meat dishes, especially with lamb or game he shows what he’s made of. White grape varieties play a slightly overriding role with 55% of the acreage compared to red varieties with 45%.
The History of Viticulture
The history of viticulture in South African wine country began with Jan van Riebeeck in the middle of the 17th century. He had wine planted to make Cape Town an attractive port of call for the United East India Company. In terms of climate, viticulture in South Africa is favored by the Benguela current, a cool ocean current that comes from the Arctic – because it is too hot for the vines in this geographical zone. Today South African regions have established themselves for the production of internationally renowned wines and the country convinces with great variety and top qualities.
Wine Tourism in South Africa
Picture landscapes, endless white beaches, a mild, warm climate, and a strong European culture – all of this is South Africa. The South African wineries mostly have a professional range. Restaurants with pretty terraces in the middle of a magnificent garden await guests as well as many different types of tasting, which always offer something special for wine novices as well as old wine enthusiasts. South Africa has 30 different wine-growing regions, the majority of which are in the coastal region around Cape Town with Stellenbosch as the center. A smaller part is inland on the Breed River. Discover South African wine regions with us and taste exceptionally good wines.
South African Wine Regions
The Western Cape
The Western Cape is the largest and one of the most important South African wine regions. Western Cape in turn is divided into many sub-regions, some of which are very well known, such as Coastal Region, Klein Karoo, Cape South Coast, Olifants River, and Breede River Valley. Most of the region is characterized by a Mediterranean climate. Hot summers and damp, cool winters are the norms here. Pleasant sea breezes and cool nights have a beneficial effect on viticulture by protecting the grapes from heat stress during the summer months. The soils in the region with lime, clay, and sandstone offer the best conditions for the vines.
Coastal Region: Capetown and Its Surrounding Area
The greatest concentration of top wineries is located around the charming student town of Stellenbosch. Strong, tannic red wines from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Pinotage are produced in the picturesque wine-growing region, which is shaped by the Cape and English traditions. Strong, fruity white wines also grow on the high slopes of the Simonsberg and the Helderberg. Erin tasting in the beautifully designed spacious property in a beautiful landscape is unique.
The Coastal Region is the longest established growing areas in South Africa wine country. These areas are close to the city of Cape Town and extend north along the Atlantic coast and east along the curve of False Bay. The most significant wine district of the Coastal Region is Stellenbosch, which is a major player in the international wine industry and is home to South Africa’s best-known wine estates. This famous wine town is internationally recognized as the birthplace of Pinotage grapes.
Constantia from Coastal Region is the oldest wine-growing region of South Africa wine country.
In 1652, the Dutch doctor Jan van Riebeeck planted the first vines near Cape Town. The oldest and best-known wine-growing region in South Africa is located here today. In the 18th century, it was famous for its sweet wines, today juicy sauvignon and chardonnays are produced in beautiful traditional Cape Dutch estates.
Swartland – High Quality Wines from Coastal Region
Just a few kilometers north of Cape Town, the capital of South Africa, there is the mysterious “black country”, also called Swartland in Afrikaans. Due to the region’s location on the sun-drenched Cape and the mild coastal climate, high-quality wines grow in this region. Swartland is a large cultivation area that stretches from the Atlantic coast to deep inland and traditionally stands for very heavy, mature red wines. In recent years, innovative winegrowers have settled here who produce fine, not overloaded wines without artificial irrigation. The red wines are made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsaut. The resourceful winemakers from Chenin Blanc, Semillon, and Palomino produce fresh, fruity white wines.
Klein Karoo is a semi-arid wine-producing region. This region lies on the eastern side of the Western Cape province of South Africa wine country, bordering Cape South Coast and Breede River Valley wine regions. The vineyards of the Klein Karoo wine region can reach up to 700m above sea level. These vineyards are located particularly high up in the areas of Montagu and Tradouw on the western border of the Klein Karoo.
Klein Karoo is one of the most diverse South African wine regions. The region is well known for its extremes in terms of its soils and climate. Some of the highest mountain peaks of the Western Cape are located in the Klein Karoo. these mountains form part of the Cape Fold Mountains. Here, viticulture activities take place mainly in the valleys, kloofs, and ravines of this rugged landscape.
Olifants River – The Northernmost Wine Regions of Western Cape
This wine region stretches from north to south along the valley of the Olifants River. In this valley, the summer months are warmer than in other South African wine regions. This vine management technique ensures that the grapes are shaded by the leaves of the vine. This vine management technique combined with modern winemaking methods means that the Olifants River region provides quality and affordable wines.
Breede River Valley
The Breede River Wine Valley is the largest wine-producing region in the Western Cape Province in South Africa wine country.
In total, close to 40% of the total vines planted in South Africa wine country are in the Breede River Valley wine region. The region is home to a range of different wineries, including small boutique wineries and larger cooperative wineries. For wine lovers, the Breede River Valley is a true wine paradise.
Where breath-taking beauty, majestical mountains, and sweeping valleys meet South Africa’s best wines.