South Africa has undergone drastic political, social, and ethnological changes in the past ten to twenty years. Present day South Africa, in which the development ofthe economy is problematical could be given a big impulse by its wine industry. Ten years ago the wine was boycotted throughout most of the world but now South African wine seems set to conquer Europe, having made good starts in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands because ofthe historical links of both these countries with South Africa.
Proud wine-growers will tell you that South Africa is the oldest of the 'New World' wine countries. The reality is that vines were not introduced into South Africa until 1655 while the first vines were planted in
Mexico and Japan in 1530 and in Argentina and Peru around 1560. South Africa certainly started cultivating vines before California (1697) and New Zealand (1813).
South African Wine
Today, South Africa has a forward-looking and vibrant wine industry that’s making up for lost tine, fast! Despite the fact that wine has been made in South Africa since 1659, it’s only over the past decade or so that its strengths and potential have been discovered. South Africa’s best-known vine and wine is Pinotage, bred by crossing Pinot Noir and Cinsault. On paper, South Africa has everything to create great wines: a favourable climate, soil and an energetic band of talented winemakers. It’s easy to find youg winemakers who have travelled and worked in other wine-producing countries throughout the world, gaining valuable experience along the way. The Cape and surrounding areas are cooled by the Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean and the Benguela current from Antartica.