South Africa has been producing wine for many years, in fact the Dutch East India Company established what was known as a refreshment station in 1652 (a mere 360 years ago) for trading fleets. This was located on the Cape and ever since the very first vineyard in 1655, South Africa has grown as a wine producing region. Despite the first vineyard in place, it wasn’t until around 30 years later when the French Huguenots settled in the area the more refined wine producing techniques were implemented.
Despite starting many years before, it wasn’t until 1925 when South Africa’s most important moment arrived. Professor A.I. Perold, from Stellenbosch University took huge steps to putting the country on the wine making map by mixing together Cinsault and Pinot Noir to create what is now a common sight in the industry now, Pinotage. Over the coming years, many companies and wine merchants were to adopt this grape and starting planting it for export and domestic bottling but the wine industry ground to a halt when many countries put a full embargo on dealings with South Africa due to the Apartheid that had gripped the country.
However, during the 1990’s when the problems in South Africa had eased and foreign investment was once again coming in, a mixture of what is now known as old world and new world wines were produced on a regular basis. Along with the Pinotage (which is the most popular red grape), Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon are popular choices whilst white varietals include Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc.
Nowadays, South Africa is one of the major wine producing regions and customers can see a range of wines from leading wine companies on the shelves of many of the leading retailers. You will find some fantastic wines available both online and in-store, and whether you are looking for a full bodied red wine or a crisp, refreshing white wine or maybe even a fruity rose, you will be able to find exactly what you are looking for.
New wines are always being released as well so if you are yet to find your favourite then one may be around the corner and if you have found one you really like then still keep your eyes open for that next gem. With these new world wines mixing a variety of grapes together, customers have some fantastic tastes and flavours available to them.