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Central Orange River

Northernmost winegrowing area (also Orange River, Oranjerivier or Lower Orange) in South Africa, It is not far from the border with the Republic of Botswana with the Kalahari Desert and is around 800 kilometers from the Cape region. It is a ward that is not assigned to a district or region. The main town is the city of Upington. Central Orange River is completely separate from the other South African wine growing areas and is named after the almost 2,000 km long river (Oranje River). East of Orange River is also on the banks of the District Douglas, After the ban on slavery in 1834, tens of thousands of Dutch people left the Cape region in the so-called "Great Trek" and founded the independent republics of Natal, Transvaal and Oranje far to the north. Many settlers settled on the banks of the ramified Oranje River. Large gold and diamond fields were discovered here in the 19th century.

The continental climate is characterized by summers with sparse rainfall and cold and dry winters. The water of the river becomes indispensable, artificial irrigation by flooding the vineyards used what the first settlers had already set up. The vineyards cover 5,075 hectares of wine grape varieties (2009). They are 91% planted with the white varieties Colombard, Chenin Blanc, Muscat d'Alexandrie and Chardonnay, and 9% with the red varieties Ruby Cabernet, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinotage, Shiraz and Merlot. In addition, there are 8,309 hectares of vineyards for the table grape variety Sultana (in total there are 9,082 in South Africa), from which table grapes and raisins be produced. The vineyards lie in a narrow band 400 kilometers along the river on fertile alluvial soils that produce the highest yields of up to 140 hl / ha. Almost all grape growers deliver their fruits to large cooperatives. Well-known producers are Hartswater Wine Cellar and the largest South African winery Orange River Wine Cellars, which bottles wines from five large wine cooperatives.

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