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 Cape Gourmet Adventure Tours

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Individual and private tastings at selected wine farms

 The Winelands - Paradise of the Grapes

The Winelands - paradise of the grapes

South Africa is regarded to be the worlds 9th biggest wine producer, with approximately 800 Million litres per annum, which equates 2, 7 percent of the wine production worldwide.

In keeping with the spirit of renewal in South Africa, the wine industry has, in recent years replanted 40 percent of the vineyards.

In the past white wines dominated the South African vineyards but the trend is now towards a more market-driven balance between whites and reds. Noble varieties that have been cultivated increasingly over the last few years include Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay which are producing top-class wines and Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Pinot Noir.

Although most of the vine varieties cultivated here today was originally imported, up to now six local crossings have been released. The best known of these is a red variety, Pinotage, a hybrid of Pinot Noir and Hermitage (Cinsaut), which more recently is cultivated locally on a fairly large scale.

Wine making has a long history in South Africa. In the 17th Century the Dutch, the French Huguenots and, later, the Germans successfully planted the first wines. The cape wine growing area, situated in the narrow viticulture zone of the Southern Hemisphere, produces some of the world’s most outstanding vines. The area has a Mediterranean climate. The mountain slopes and valleys form the ideal habitat for wine grapes. Long sun-drenched summers ensure grapes have enough sugar to provide excellent wines year after year. Wet winters with sea breezes and cool temperatures also contribute to the ideal conditions for viticulture at the Cape. The soil is fertile with water retentive Granite and Sandstone forming crumbly shale. With this favourable combination of climate and soil almost 4500 farmers and cooperatives in 12 wine regions cultivate 10900 hectares of land under vines. South Africa is well known for its red blends, its classical reds: Pinotage, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Merlot, Pinot Noir and its whites: Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc.

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Ludger Pooth
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ludger@cape-town.info

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