About South Africa
Wine production began in South Africa as a means for sailors to not contract scurvy (a disease brought on by poor nutrition and lack of vitamin C) - which sounds bizarre but it’s true. Vines were planted and ready for harvest in 1659 with the lead of the Dutch East India Company which assigned a viticulture growth task in Cape Town to a Dutch navigator. Since then, South Africa’s wine industry has grown so much that in 2018 they were the 9th largest wine producer in the world. Most of the wine in South Africa comes from the ‘Cape Floral Kingdom’ which is located at the southern tip of the country. There are 6 floristic kingdoms in the world which house a massive biodiversity of distinctive plants, but the one in South Africa is said to be the most significant; plant geographers find this region very special because 70% of the plants which grow in it aren’t found anywhere else in the world. Many regions in South Africa offer stunning views of rolling grasslands from high plateaus which attracts many tourists every year. Underneath the picturesque landscape there are very valuable mining materials (South Africa is the world’s largest producer of gold and platinum in the world). Amongst the ground there is great opportunity for healthy grape vine growth due to the soil that tends to stay moist because it generally made at least 25% of clay. Many of the wines produced have earthy flavours with ripe fruit and a high alcohol content. Locals and tourists alike can commonly be seen sipping on glasses of chenin blanc (the most planted white variety) and cabernet sauvignon (the most planted red variety). South Africa also has a signature grape, the red ‘Pinotage’ which is a combination of pinot noir and Cinsaut. This variety is known for its earthy and smoky flavours which are sometimes paired with notes of tropical fruit.
57.78 million (2018)
1.22 million sq km (470,900 million sq mi)