South Africa Appellation

by Alberto Martínez

Vinos de Sudáfrica

South Africa is the pioneer of so-called New World countries, as far as wine is concerned; it was the first country to belong to this group.

The history of South African wine

It was by the hand of the Dutch colonist Simon Van der Stel, first governor of the Cape Colony (Dutch colony in South Africa), who introduced the culture of wine back in 1679, creating the first vineyard in this country, in order to quench the thirst of wine of the sailors who passed through the port of that small town. Groot Constantia vineyard is today, one of the most important in the African country, due to its history, tradition and fine wines.

South Africa Appellation

South Africa earned the designation of origin (DO) in 1973, in order to classify its different wine producing areas, either by its quality or by its quantity of wine produced in each one of them. It started by classifying the areas of Cape Town, which was divided:

• In Western Cape which includes Western Cape.
Coastal Region: (Coastal Region) comprising Constantia, Durbanville and Stellenbosch.
Overberg: comprising Elgin, Paarl y Tulbagh.
Breede River Valley which includes Worcester, Robertson and Swellendam.
• These areas are in turn divided into districts, among which highlights Calitzdorp, Cape Point, Robertson, Paarl, Worcester, Stellenbosch, Tulbagh and Overberg.
Within these areas, the designation of origin system in South Africa was established as it follows: Western Cape, Stellenbosch, Swartland, Walker Bay, Elgin, Robertson and Elim.

Currently 47% of the South African wine exportation is aimed to Britain, Germany 25% and the 28% to the rest of the world being Canada and the United States the main importers of the rest.

Being the UK market the highest destination of these wines, the appellation of origin is predominantly English, That is why the “Wine and Spirit Board” (English Setter drinks), has awarded to some wines the title of “Wine of Origin” (Designation of Origin), which have divided them into three classifications:

By region – which refers to the region where the wine was produced, and their different characteristics and unique properties.

By Ward (district) – Makes a reference to the small areas of cultivation, and to their owners.

By Estate (farm area) – Refers to a particular area and the grape who has been cultivated there.

Do you want to try South African wines? Let us guide you:

Golden Kaan Pinotage Classic 2009: The wine you should start to get to know South African wines. From the native grape Pinotage is a wine with 9 months of barrel aging that integrates perfectly the fruit tannins.

Golden Kaan Classic Chenin Blanc 2009: Chenin Blanc, a French variety, is a white grape grown widely here too, just like the Sauvignon Blanc. The difference in climate offers a unique singularity to this grape that you cannot find anywhere else in the world.

Hannibal 2005: Sangiovese, Pinot Noir, Syrah and Barbera, a blend of grapes with a great result, which gives us one of the best South African wines.

Won’t you try South African wines? Have you already tried them? Tell us your experience!

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