In 1652 the Dutch East India Company established a settlement at the Cape of Good Hope at the southern tip of Africa. Then in 1655 the first grapevine went into the ground, and the first wine was made in 1659. So the wine industry has existed in South Africa for hundreds of years.
South Africa is located at the extreme southern end of the African continent. The main winegrowing regions are clustered in the southwestern part of the country near Cape Town. For most of the wine regions, the climate is cooler than the latitude might suggest due to cold currents from Antarctica and winds blowing off the Atlantic and Indian Oceans.
Approximately 55% of the nation's vineyards are planted to white wine grapes. The main white grapes are Chenin Blanc, known locally as Steen, and Sauvignon Blanc. The red grapes are led by Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz (Syrah), and Pinotage, a red grape that is unique to South Africa. It's a must-try wine!
Come explore South Africa with us as we taste six incredibly interesting wines from this southern hemisphere nation, accompanied by an array of delicious artisan cheeses and breads!
About Debbie Jones:
Debbie, an Atlanta native, earned the Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) credential from the Society of Wine Educators in 2009. She is the Senior Wine Consultant for Grape Crush Productions, an event planning and marketing firm that specializes in wine and food events, including the annual Buckhead Wine Festival. She has always had a passion for wine and has been actively involved in wine and food events throughout the Atlanta area since 2001, volunteering and participating in numerous festivals, tastings, classes, seminars, dinners, and fundraisers. After many years in retail, Debbie decided to shift her skills from department stores to wine education. Pouring wine, conducting tastings, educating tasters, and fostering a respect for wine and food is what she loves to do most, especially if it involves showcasing the wines of her home state of Georgia. She loves reds and whites of all kinds, and she is always eager to expand her knowledge by trying wines made from unique and uncommon grapes or regions.