South Africa is one of the oldest and most interesting oversea wine countries. Its viticulture history started about 350 years ago with vine plantings by French Huguenots in Franschhoek and a Dutch governor in Constantia. As early as in the late 18th century, the famous Muscat-based dessert wines of Constantia delighted European wine drinkers. After phylloxera, a long period of production of lower quality wines, dominated by cooperatives followed.
Fortunately, after the era of Apartheid, South African wine producers started to get back to high quality wine production starting from the 1980s. Nowadays, you can find outstanding qualities of unique wines, which are often described as a mixture between European and New World styles. We talk about fantastically interpreted Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Bordeaux Blends with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, Syrah, but also the South African special variety Pinotage. South Africa`s advantage is the dramatic variation of landscapes, soils and climates.
From mountains to deserts, from limestone to granite, from very hot in the inlands to chilly at the Cape Region – key words Benguela current and `Cape Doctor´ wind – you can find almost everything. Dedicated wine producers find here a perfect basis to create a large amount of fantastic wine styles.