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Cap sur les vins d'Afrique du Sud

Focus on South African wines

On the borders of the African continent stands a vineyard with Mediterranean climate and inspiration. It was the first in the New World to see its bottles on the tables of European monarchs in the Age of Enlightenment.

South Africa is certainly the only vineyard in the world for which it is possible to date the first harvest: 1659. At that time, the settlers did not know much about winemaking. Production was to be boosted by the arrival of a dozen families of Huguenots (French Protestants who had left the country) in 1688. The French Touch, already. Between a wave of phylloxera and the Apartheid crisis that led to an international boycott of South African products, the vineyard lost its lustre before being reborn in the early 1990s, after the release of Nelson Mandela.

The freshness of the hillsides is favourable for white wines while the interior of the country offers good conditions for reds.

Pinotage is the national grape variety.

Pinotage is a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault obtained in 1952 by Abraham Perold, a researcher at the University of Stellenbosch. This makes it one of the youngest grape varieties in the world. It thrives in the sunshine and the dry heat of the country to produce racy wines with aromas of black fruit, coconut and coffee. Vinified alone or in blends, it is a wine for laying down that deserves time to express itself.

Appellation system

As far as appellations are concerned, we can distinguish the "Regions" (Coastal Region, Boberg Region, Breed River Region, Orange River Region), the "Districts" (Stellenbosch, Paarl, Constantia, Durbanville, Worcester...), the " Wards " (Franschhoek, Helderberg...) and the "Estates" (properties) which form the closed circle of exceptional wines.

5 appellations to start with

- Stellenbosch

- Constantia

- Darling

- Cape Point

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