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South Africa

South Africa’s history of wine production dates back to the 1600’s, however the industries modern impact has only recently been felt following the country’s Apartheid years. The current South African wine industry is one of the most exciting globally, with a wave of young winemakers pushing the limits whilst respecting the country’s old-vine heritage.

The first vines were planted in the 1650s by butch colonists on the Western Cape. Looking to establish an outpost for ships sailing towards the East Indies, they quickly discovered that native grapes were inferior and asked for french vines to be sent by the dutch east India company.

Using French Muscat, vines were planted in what became known as Constantia. The finest of wines produced come from the Coastal region, located within the Western Cape. Most Vineyard run parallel to the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, benefitting greatly from cooling deep waters and maritime breezes.

There are more than 60 official appellations in South Africa, with 5 regions, 22 districts and 55 wards. Stellenbosch and Constantia are two of the best known wine growing areas. South Africa is now the world’s 9th largest producer of wine, as it produces all the classical global varieties.

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