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Wines of South Africa

South Africa has many fantastic varieties of wine but can claim her own grape variety in the Pinotage, a cross between Pinot Noir and Hermitage (Cinsault). Pinotage first came about in 1925 by Dr. Abraham Izak Perold, the first Professor of Viticulture at the University of Stellenbosch!

South Africa is also notable as the second home of Chenin Blanc. About 55% of SA vineyards are planted for white varieties. Other notable grapes include Riesling, Sémillon (Groendruif) and Muscat (Hanepoot).

White varieties
Sauvignon Blanc : Light to medium-bodied and dry with racy refreshing palate.
Chardonnay : Very versatile and almost always dry wine; may be wooded or unwooded.
Chenin Blanc : Made either in dry, semi-sweet or dessert wine style. Easy drinking fruity style.
Gewürztraminer : Made in dry, off-dry, semi-sweet or dessert style. Very floral, fragrant character.
Riesling : Styles range, dry through to Noble Late Harvest wines. Mostly off dry in SA. Fragrant aromas and flavours.
Red varieties
Cabernet Sauvignon : Full bodied, robust red wine nearly always wooded. Higher tannins offer good aging potential.
Merlot : Elegant medium to full-bodied wines offering a velvety feel with soft integrated tannins.
Pinot Noir : Light to medium-bodied depending on wood maturation. A fruity, lively red wine.
Pinotage : SA grape varietal. Style varies from a light-bodied, fruity wine to full bodied with great aging potential.
Shiraz/Syrah : Rich medium to full-bodied wines that are generally well oaked.

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