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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 the first vines brought from Europe in 1655 at the foot of Table Mountain near today's legislative capital. The first verifiable vintage was a 1659 with 15 liters of Muscat wine. From the end of the 17th century there were 200 Huguenots expelled from their French homeland - the name of today's cultivation area Franschhoek (French corner) reminds of them - as well as German and Dutch winegrowers who further developed South African winegrowing. Her descendants still play an important role today. The Dutch governor appointed from 1679 Simon van der Stel (1639-1712) founded the city Stellenbosch and laid the famous vineyard in 1685 Constantia from which at the time one of the legendary European rulers Sweet wines the world called "Vin de Constance" was created. In the 17th century, large amounts of wine were produced in 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 the phylloxera South Africa too and wreaked havoc.

South Africa - vineyards in Paarl (with winery Nederburg) and Stellenbosch

Racial 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 (the term apartheid from afrikaans "apart" = individual, special) emerged. Due to 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 companies) KWV (Kooperatieve Wijnbouwers Vereniging van Zuid Afrika) was founded. This state control body then dominated the entire South African viticulture until the early 1990s. Apartheid policy was abandoned in 1991 and the right to own land was opened to all races. As a result, demand from abroad skyrocketed and wine has become one of the most important export goods. In 2002 the non-profit organization became WIETA founded, 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 Ocean in the west and the Indian Ocean in the east characterizes the “wine between two oceans”. There is a long, mostly sunny summer and (from May to September) a mild but humid winter. The cold and gusty wind from the south-east is called "Cape Doctor" because it cleans the air - but the winegrowers fear it because it can damage the vines. One differentiates from climate. soil type and wine type from two main regions: the more moderate, more rainy under the influence of the Art Atlantic Coastal region with mostly dry white and red wines and the less rainy, hotter areas separated by mountain ranges Little Karoo. Olifants 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 cooling at night ensure long ripening periods and are conducive to quality wines. Most of the warmer areas have to be artificial irrigation mostly done by rivers.

There are almost 4,000 grape producers, around 60 cooperatives, around 500 private wineries and 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 by Günter Brözel (next to Graue and Tim Hamilton Russel one of the South African viticulture pioneers) was produced. An important one takes place here every year auction instead of. The KWV Internationally (even after privatization) plays a crucial role as a producer and trading company. Another large company is the Stellenbosch Farmer's Winery (SFW). A traditional specialty, as before, is still that of the type of sherry and port wine manufactured, sweet Dessert wines, Chenin Blanc and the nutmeg varieties become simple, carbonated in large quantities bubblies (Sparkling wines), but also sparkling wines after the Method cap classique generated. From the legendary wine pioneer Professor Abraham Isak Perold (1880-1941) created Pinotage variety delivers Cape specialties with deep, full-bodied red wines. From the 1950s onwards, temperature control was achieved using stainless steel tanks fermentation common practice, practically all white wines are fermented cool to cold today (12 to 15 ° C).

80% of the vineyards are located in the Western Cape Province within a radius of 200 kilometers from Cape Town, on the southern tip of the continent. In 2012, they covered a total of 135,000 hectares with a rising trend (in 2000 it was 112,000 hectares). The Thompson Seedlesss variety ( Sultana ) covers around 9,000 hectares and is mainly used for the production of table grapes and raisins, but also partly used for wine production. The wine variety Muscat d'Alexandrie is also used in part as a table grape. The table grapes are also used in part for wine for brandy and industrial alcohol. South Africa is also a leading global producer of RTK (rectified grape must concentrate). A total of 12.259 million hectoliters of wine were produced in 2012 (see also under Wine production volumes ).

Until 1982, no European grape varieties were allowed to be imported. They did it in the mid-1990s Big Six (the six most important grape varieties) made up only 15%, today it is over half. In the past ten years, due to international demand, red wine varieties have been planted preferentially. Their share rose from a 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 have almost tripled. Through many new plantings, the vine stock is characterized by numerous young vineyards, a large part of which is less than ten years old. Chenin Blanc, known here 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, Mourvèdre 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) was first introduced in 1973. A revision based on the European appellation system was made in 1993, this guarantees the vintage, grape variety and origin. At least 85% of the vintage and grape variety must be included if this is stated on the label. Until 2006, this only applied to wine exported to the EU (South Africa 75%), from then on to all wines. The quality wines declared as WO are issued by the state control body Wine and Spirit Board (WSB) checked. Every wine must have one analytical and sensory Go through control. If the answer is positive, they will receive the black and white seal of quality "Certified Gesertifiseer" on the bottle neck. This has two numbers; the number above the line is the current bottle number, the lower one is the batch number. This way you can trace the way back to the estate. In addition, a new (but not mandatory) certification by the association was introduced in 2010 Sustainable Wine South Africa introduced. The green seal "Integrity & Sustainability" also guarantees origin, Vintage etc. that the wines according to sustainable, environmentally friendly guidelines were produced. In this case, the black and white seal is not necessary.

Terms in English or Afrikaans may appear on the label. These are, for example, small oak (klein eikevat) = small wooden barrel or Barrique, Sulfur (swael) = sulfur, non-certified wine (never gesertifiseerde wyne) = table wine, certified wine (gesertifiseerde wyne) = quality wine, Kultivar (kultivaar, druifsoort) = grape variety, fortified wine = fortified dessert wine, late harvest = late harvest, special Late Harvest = selection, Noble Late Harvest = berry selection, Method cap classique = Sparkling wine with bottle fermentation. Participation in the “Wine of Origin” is voluntary. If the quality seal is awarded, then all grapes used must come from the specified area. If the grape variety and vintage are indicated on the label, at least 75% of the grape variety (85% for export wines) or of the year. 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 WOs (5 or with regions 6 regions, 22 districts and 64 wards). The levels of origin in ascending order:

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

Ward : Smaller area (German "district" or "district"). Many of them are independent, that is, they are not assigned to any district or region.

District : Larger contiguous area that can consist of several wards. Some are independent, i.e. not assigned to a region. The two most important with the eponymous cities of Paarl and Stellenbosch are important winegrowing 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. Most of the wine-growing regions (Wine of Origins) are located in the GU Western Cape ; it includes all five regions with their districts and wards. In the GU Northern Cape are the regionless districts Douglas and Sutherland-Karoo, as well as the three wards Central Orange River, Hartswater and Rietrivier FS. In the GU Eastern Cape there is Ward St Francis Bay. There are no areas in the GU's KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo . The regions (bold), districts (below) and wards (in brackets):

Not a "real" region - but is often referred to as such (no districts or wards). It applies to dessert wines from 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, Klein River, Theewater)
  • Plettenberg Bay
  • Swellendam (Buffeljags, Malgas, Stormsvlei)
  • Walker Bay (Bot River, Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge, Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, Sunday's Glen, Upper Hemel-en-Aarde Valley)
  • no district (Herbertsdale, Stilbaai East)

Coastal region

Little Karoo

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

Olifants River

  • Citrusdal Mountain (Piekenierskloof)
  • Citrusdal 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)

Stellenbosch: By Dave Bezaire & Susi Havens-Bezaire - flickr , CC BY-SA 2.0 , link

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