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South Africa

South Africa (GB)
Afrique du Sud (F)
África del Sur (ES)
Sudafrica (I)
África do Sul (PO)
Zuid-Afrika (N)

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) reminiscent 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 appointed from 1679 Simon van der Stel (1639-1712) founded the city Stellenbosch and in 1685 laid the famous vineyard Constantia from 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, large quantities of wines were 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 exacerbated 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 then 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 temperate, rainier ones 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 ripening periods and are conducive to quality wines. In the warmer areas must 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, as in the past, is still one of the kind 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 Isak Perold (1880-1941) created variety Pinotage Cape specialties with deep, full-bodied red wines. From the 1950s, the use of stainless steel tanks was a temperature-controlled fermentation In common practice, virtually all white wines today are fermented cool to cold (12 to 15 ° C).

The vineyards are 80% in the province of Western Cape within 200 kilometers of Cape Town, at the southern tip of the continent. In 2012, they totaled 135,000 hectares with an upward trend (in 2000, there were 112,000 hectares). The variety Thompson Seedlesss ( Sultana ) covers around 9,000 hectares and is mainly used for the production of table grapes and raisins but partly also used for wine production. The type of milk Muscat d'Alexandrie is partly used as a table grape. The table grapes are also used in part for wine for brandy and industrial alcohol. South Africa is also a world leading producer of RTK (rectified concentrated grape must). In 2012, a total of 12.259 million hectoliters of wine were produced (see also under Wine production volumes ).

Until 1982, no European grape varieties were allowed to be imported. The mid-1990s made the Big Six (the six main grape varieties) account for only 15%, today it is already more than half. In the last ten years, red wines have been preferred due to international demand. Their share has risen from one third to almost half within this period. The three varieties Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Noir have doubled their stocks, the two varieties Shiraz and Cabernet Franc almost tripled. Due to many new plantings, the vine is characterized by numerous young vineyards, much of it is younger than ten years. The Chenin Blanc named as Steen is still dominant, but the trend is falling sharply. The Blend 2010 (Kym Anderson ):



Synonyms or name in South Africa


Chenin Blanc White Steen 18515
Cabernet Sauvignon red - 12325
Colombard White Colombar 11990
Syrah red Shiraz 10136
Sauvignon Blanc White - 9551
Chardonnay White - 8278
Merlot red - 6497
Pinotage red - 6240
Ruby Cabernet red - 2220
Muscat d'Alexandrie White - 2167
Cinsault red Cinsaut, Hermitage 2052
Sémillon White - 1182
Pinot Noir red - 962
Cabernet Franc red - 934
Viognier White - 892
Muscat Blanc / muscatel White Muscadel, Muscat de Frontignan 689
Petit Verdot red - 648
Crouchen White Cape Riesling, Clare Riesling 629
Cot red Côt, Malbec 450
Nouvelle White - 422
Monastrell red Mataro, Mourvedre 403
Muscat noir red Muscadel Red - variety of Muscat Blanc 371
Clairette White - 290
Palomino White Fransdruif, White French 270
Pinot gris White - 261
Tinta Barroca red - 231
Riesling White - 211
Villard Blanc White - 188
Garnacha Tinta red Grenache Noir 187
Roobernet red - 139
Fernão Pires White Fernao Pires 135
Gewurztraminer / Traminer White Gewurztraminer 122
Emerald Riesling White - 104
Touriga Nacional red - 101
Therona Riesling White Therona 99
mazuelo red Carignane, Kerrigan 81
Chenel White - 79
Trebbiano Toscano White - 74
Bukettrebe White bukettraube 71
Tannat red - 67
Sangiovese red - 61
Hárslevelü White - 56
Servant White Raisin Blanc 54
Barbera red - 51
Vinhão red Sousão 47
Garnacha Blanca White Grenache Blanc 44
Tribidrag red Zinfandel 34
Roussanne White - 28
Morio Muscat White - 26

The introduction of the controlled designation of origin "Wine of Origin" (WO) took place for the first time in 1973. A revision based on the model of the European appellation system existed in 1993, guaranteeing vintage, grape variety and origin. The vintage and grape variety must contain at least 85% if indicated on the label. Until 2006, this only applied to wine exported to the EU (South Africa 75%), from then on for all wines. The declared quality wines are declared by the state control body Wine and Spirit Board (WSB) checked. Every wine needs one analytical and sensory Go through control. In the case of a positive decision, he receives the black and white quality seal "Certified Gesertifiseer" at the bottleneck. This has two numbers; the number above the line is the current bottle number, the lower one is the batch number. This way, the way back to the winery (Estate) can be traced. In addition, from 2010, a new (but not compulsory) certification by the Association Sustainable Wine South Africa introduced. The green seal "Integrity & Sustainability" guarantees in addition to ancestry, Vintage etc., that the wines according to sustainable, environmentally sound guidelines were produced. In this case, the black and white seal is not necessary.

The label may contain terms in English or Afrikaans. These are for example small oak (small eikevat) = small wooden barrel or Barrique, Sulfur (swael) = sulfur, non-certified Wine (never gesertifiseerde wyne) = table wine, certified Wine (gesertifiseerde wyne) = quality wine, cultivar (kultivaar, druifsoort) = grape variety, Fortified wine = fortified dessert wine, Late Harvest = Spätlese, Special Late Harvest = Elite, Noble Late Harvest = Beerenauslese, Méthode cap classique = Sparkling wine with bottle fermentation. Participation in the "Wine of Origin" is voluntary. If the quality seal is awarded, then all the grapes used must come from the specified range. If grape variety and vintage are indicated on the label, at least 75% of the grape variety (85% for export wines) or the year must be. On enrich in any form is prohibited, however leavening allowed to a limited extent. There are no restrictions regarding earnings Fertilizers or irrigation quantities. There are currently 92 registered WO's (5 or with Boberg 6 Regions, 22 Districts and 64 Wards). The origin levels in ascending order:

Estate : Winery formed from one or more farms, which may use grapes exclusively from their own production. There are currently around 100 registered estates. The wine must be vinified on its own premises, but (with the necessary approval of the Wine and Spirit Board) may be bottled outside and labeled. In addition, foreign grapes may be used, but they must be marketed under a secondary label - however, this may not exceed 49% of the Estate amount and the name of the Estate may not be used. Estate wines do not automatically mean better quality.

Ward : Smaller area (dt "district" or "district"). Many of them are independent, which means no District and no region assigned.

District : Larger contiguous area that can consist of several wards. Some are independent, that is, not assigned to a region. The two most important with the eponymous cities Paarl and Stellenbosch are important wine-growing centers.

Region : Large area named after a political area or city. The regions are divided into districts and wards. The regions are Boberg , Breede River Valley , Cape South Coast , Coastal Region , Klein Karoo and Olifants River .

Geographical Unit : There are five of these very large areas introduced in 1993. The GU Western Cape is home to most of the Wine of Origins, covering all five regions with their districts and wards. The GU Northern Cape is home to the Douglas and Sutherland-Karoo regionless districts, as well as the three Wards Central Orange River, Hartswater and Rietrivier FS. In the GU Eastern Cape there is the Ward St Francis Bay. There are no areas in GUs KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo . The regions (bold), districts (below) and wards (in brackets):

No "real" region - but often referred to as such (no districts or wards). It applies to dessert wines of the districts Franschhoek. Paarl and Tulbagh (Coastal Region - one could therefore call Boberg a "region within a region").

Breede River Valley

  • Breedekloof (Goudini, Slanghoek)
  • Robertson (Agterkliphoogte, Bonnievale, Boesmansrivier, Eilandia, Hoopsrivier, Klaasvoogds, Le Chasseur, McGregor, Vinkrivier)
  • Worcester (Aan-de-Dooms, Hex River Valley, Nuy, Scherpenheuvel)

Cape South Coast

  • Cape Agulhas (Elim)
  • Overberg (Elgin, Greyton, Little River, Theewater)
  • Plettenberg Bay
  • Swellendam (Buffeljags, Malgas, Stormsvlei)
  • Walker Bay (Hem River, Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge, Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, Sunday's Glen, Upper Hemel-en-Aarde Valley)
  • without district (Herbertsdale, Stilbaai East)

Coastal region

Small Karoo

  • Calitzdorp
  • Langenberg-Garcia
  • without District (Montagu, Outeniqua, Tradouw, Tradouw Highlands, Upper Langkloof)

Olifant's River

  • Citrusdal Mountain (Piekenierskloof)
  • Citrus Valley
  • Lutzville Valley (Koekenaap)
  • without district (Bamboes Bay, Spruitdrift, Vredental)

No region (no district)

  • Douglas
  • Sutherland Karoo
  • no district (Cederberg, Central Orange River or Lower Orange, Ceres, Hartswater, Lambert's Bay, Prince Albert Valley, Rietrivier FS, St Francis Bay, Swartberg)

The following three websites have been used as valuable sources: , and

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