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Wine Country: South Africa

Celebrating 350 years of winemaking

One of the most well-known grape types in South Africa is the Pinotage; the indigenous grape type grown in the country that has been said to make great Rose wines.

“Vibrant plum hue with bright fuchsia rim; juicy ripe, red fruit – raspberry, strawberry and cherry with dried banana,” says Eleanor Cosman, President of the South African Wine Society, about the tasting note of the Pinotage. “Fruit lingers easily on the palate, combined with a gentle acidity and soft, silky tannins.”

Of course, South Africa offers some of the best wines in the world by using red grape variety, which includes Merlot, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. South Africa’s white grape variety showcases Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Aligote and Sauvignon Blanc.

History – Did you know
Dutch colonists were the first Europeans to inhabit the tribal lands of South Africa. Jan van Riebeeck, the colony’s leader, was recorded to have produced the very first wine made in South Africa in February 2, 1659. Indigenous wild grapes were used by Dutch colonists in the first ever efforts in winemaking; the first varietal used was Chenin Blanc.

The United States banned the imports of South African wines, but along with the end of the apartheid in the early 1990s, the ban was lifted. By the 1960s, restrictions on the sale of “white man’s liquor” to black South Africans were lifted.

South African Red Wine Recommendations
‘CASILLERO DEL DIABLO' Cabernet Sauvignon 2005

South African White Wine Recommendations
‘DROSTDY-HOF' Chardonnay
‘TWO OCEANS' Chardonnay

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