South Africa

South Africa is a beautiful, truly stunning country, with magnificent mountain to ocean views, and charming Cape Dutch architecture. Although South Africa is not the oldest New World country to grow vines, it does have the longest tradition of producing quality wines, and is the only wine industry that can actually pin point its birth. Jan Van Riebeck planted vines for wine production in Constantia as early as 1654, and the first wine was drunk on 2nd February 1659. It’s Wine of Origin, system was implemented in 1973, and regions are divided into official wine producing areas known as districts, and their sub-divisions are called wards. South Africa makes some lovely dessert wines, and great sparkling wines to the same method as Champagne, which the South African’s call MCC or Methode Cap Classique. The countries signature white grape variety is Chenin Blanc, known as Steen, and Pinotage, a crossing of Pinot Noir and Cinsault, is its red counterpart.

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