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Home Wine Regions The Wine Regions of South Africa

The Wine Regions of South Africa

South Africa doesn't grow a lot of wine grapes. Its estimated growing area is only about 260,000 acres. However, the popularity of its wines is on the rise globally. About 20% of South Africa's annual wine production is now exported.

South Africa produces both red and white wine. About 80% of its crops are Cabernet, Merlot, or Shiraz. However, Chenin Blanc makes up about 20% of the country's white wine production.

While global demand for South African wines is relatively new, the production of wines in South Africa dates back to Dutch colonization more than 350 years ago. Nowadays, Stellenbosch is the hub for South Africa's wine production.

Indigenous hybrids are also on the rise. Pinotage is one that's very well adapted to the local climate. Walker Bay is one of the regions specifically suited for growing these indigenous hybrids. However, the wine produced here is mainly either Classic Chardonnay or Pinot Noir.

There are some other good growing regions for a variety of wine grapes. Swartland is one region that has sprung up do to extensive irrigation. Elgin is a high altitude, low-temperature growing region. The Franschoek Valley between the Drakenstein mountains is an ideal growing region because it mixes heavy rainfall with heat and soil variations.

Constantia consists of mountainside vineyards. It is said to have ideal growing conditions. It is popular for Semillon.

Paarl has many large wine producers. While historically a predominantly white wine region, Paarl has begun to develop some popular red wines. This has worked well for the region, as the hot climate produces very rich red wine grapes.

One of the oldest sections for wine production is the Durbanville vineyards near Cape Town. In fact, production has been going on in this area for about 300 years. Whether your tastes are red wines or white wines, Durbanville vineyards produce some of the best Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz.

While South Africa has many of the growing conditions found in the Mediterranean region, it also has some arid regions like the Klein Karroo. This provides perfect conditions for the production of muscatels and port.

Another area not far from Cape town the grows excellent wine grapes is Robertson. This warm valley is a growing area for Chardonnay and sparkling wine. Shiraz is a popular red wine from this area. Close by in Worcester they produce excellent brandy.

Global quality wine production is on the rise in South Africa. If you're into wines, have a taste of the wine regions of South Africa.