South African wines
Unlike many other wine regions, South Africa knows exactly the birthday of its first wine. In February 1659, the Dutch immigrant Jan van Riebeck made a memorable entry in his diary about an important event that marked the beginning of a long history of South African wine, in which there was a place for both ups and downs..
At first, the wines of this region were used only for local needs, until at the end of the twentieth century the product entered the international arena. Today South Africa ranks eighth in the world in terms of the number of wines produced, which is not bad at all against the background of such monsters as France, Italy or Spain. Great assistance to the development of winemaking in South Africa is provided by European investors, whose participation allows almost every second winery to develop..
Regions of vine cultivation
In South Africa, there are three zones with a suitable climate for the cultivation of grapes. The best is the Western Cape, whose climate is especially popular with grapes. The northwest of the country and the East Coast are considered less fortunate due to greater aridity, but still there are a large number of vineyards and wineries..
Until the middle of the last century, the grapes grown in South Africa were predominantly white varieties. Then the situation leveled off, and today dozens of varieties are cultivated in the country, among which the most popular and prolific are Shiraz, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Riesling. The main grape for blending red wines, Pinotage, is native to the southern French coast. The main features of the wine made from the Pinotage grapes are the characteristic aromas of strawberries and prunes..
The South African government strives to achieve global recognition of its wines, and therefore carefully controls the production processes. The complex control system includes several stages and product quality tests. On the label of a South African wine that has been tested and highly appreciated, the manufacturer's logo must be present and the grape variety and year of production of the drink must be indicated. In addition, the buyer has the right to know the region of origin of the wine..
Exposure for most wines from South Africa does not really matter, and therefore you can focus on the grape variety that was involved in the production. The highest quality wines are made here from the fruits of Pinotage and Syrah..