South Africa
Generally thought to be one of the world’s most beautiful wine regions, South Africa must also win awards for the most diverse topography and biodiversity, all attributes that are celebrated and maximised by South African winegrowers. Here, sustainability alongside quality is keenly protected. Today South Africa exports around 450 million litres of wine with over 100,000 hectares of vineyard and is the 9th largest producer of wine in the world The top five grape varieties in South Africa are Chenin Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Colombard, Shiraz and Sauvignon Blanc. Although Chenin is still king in South Africa, although around 40% of vineyards were replanted in recent years and there is a notable shift from 80 percent white grapes to a split that is nearly 50/50 red and white. Despite its African geography, the Cape winelands, situated at the Southernmost tip of Africa, enjoy a Mediterranean climate with cool, wet winters and warm dry summers. The mountain slopes and valleys form the ideal habitat for the wine grape, Vitis Vinifera, and the sea breezes from the Atlantic and Indian oceans cool the vineyards during the warm summer afternoons, slowing the ripening process and creating the intense fruit flavours that are so popular with lovers of South African wines.