The Dutch doctor and merchant Jan van Riebeeck (1619-1677) founded Cape Town in 1652 and planted in 1655 at the foot of Table Mountain, near the present legislative capital, the first vines brought from Europe. The first proven vintage was a 1659 with 15 liters of Muscatel wine. From the end of the 17th century, it was then 200 Huguenots expelled from their homes in France - the name of the present-day growing area Franschhoek (French corner) reminds of them - as well as German and Dutch winemakers, who further developed the South African wine. Their descendants play a significant role to this day. The Dutch Governor Simon van der, appointed from 1679 onwards Stel (1639-1712) founded the city Stellenbosch and in 1685 laid the famous vineyard Constantia from which at that time for the European ruling courts one of the legendary Sweet wines the world called "Vin de Constance" was created. In the 17th century were large quantities of wines in the Port wine- and Sherry-style as well as brandy exported to England. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the Dutch governors successfully promoted viticulture. In 1885 reached the phylloxera also South Africa and wreaked havoc.
A segregation was initiated after the founding of the South African Union in 1910 (the black population was excluded from the election) and tightened after the Second World War (there was the term apartheid of afrikaans "apart" = single, especially). As a result of the boycott of many countries, South Africa was increasingly cut off from exports. In 1918, due to a wine crisis (overproduction, poor quality, bankruptcy of many farms) the KWV (Kooperatieve Wijnbouwers Vereniging van Zuid Africa). This state control organ dominated the entire South African winegrowing until the beginning of the 1990s. The apartheid policy was abandoned in 1991 and the right to land was opened to all races. Demand from abroad rose sharply and wine has become one of the most important export goods. In 2002, the nonprofit organization became WIETA which, among other things, takes care of improved working conditions in the wine industry.
The climate is ideal for viticulture. The proximity to the Atlantic to the west and the Indian Ocean to the east characterize the "wine between two oceans". There is a long, mostly sunny summer and (from May to September) a mild but wet winter. The cold and gusty wind from the southeast is called "Cape Doctor" because it purifies the air - but the winemakers fear it because it can damage the vines. One differentiates from climate. soil type and type of wine are two main regions: the more temperate, rainier under the influence of the Artlantiks Coastal region with mostly dry white and red wines and the rainier, hotter separated by mountain ranges areas Small Karoo. Olifant's River. Robertson and Worcester with alcohol-rich dessert wines. Especially the coastal areas like Constantia. Durbanville. Overberg. Philadelphia. Stellenbosch are influenced by the nearby sea. Cooling breezes and nocturnal cooling ensure long maturation periods and are conducive to quality wines. In the warmer areas must be largely artificial irrigation mostly done by rivers.
There are nearly 4,000 grape producers, around 60 cooperatives, around 500 private wineries & wineries and over 20 wholesalers. The largest winery is Nederburg (Paarl) with 700 hectares of vineyards, where the first South African Botrytis wine called Edelkeur from Günter Brözel (next to Gray and Tim Hamilton Russel one of the South African viticulture pioneers) was produced. Here is a significant annual auction instead of. The KWV International plays a crucial role (even after privatization) as a producer and trading house. Another big business is the Stellenbosch Farmer's Winery (SFW). A traditional specialty is as in the past as in the past sherry and port wine made, sweet Dessert wines, From Chenin Blanc and the Muskat varieties are in large quantities simple, carbonated bubblies (Sparkling wines), but also sparkling wines after the Méthode cap classique generated. The already legendary viticulture pioneer Professor Abraham...