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South Africa

File:South African wine regions.jpgSouth African wine production is concentrated around Cape Town, with major vineyard and production centers at Paarl, Stellenbosch and Worcester. There are about 60 appellations within the Wine of Origin system, which was implemented in 1973.

South African wine making is a hybrid of old world and new world techniques. The wine regions of South Africa are spread out over the Western and Northern Cape regions, covering 310 miles west to east and 420 miles north to south. Within this wide expanse is a vast range of macro climate and vineyard soil types influenced by the several inland mountain chains and valleys. Within the Stellenbosch region alone, there are more than 50 unique soil types.


File:Vineyards in Franshhoek.jpgIn general, the soils of South Africa tend to retain moisture and drain well, having a significant proportion of clay with low pH levels. Other soil types found in South Africa includes granite and sandstone in Constantia, shale in Elgin and arenaceous shale in Walker Bay. The growing season is between November and April the climate is mostly Mediterranean that is marked by intense sunlight and dry heat. On the Winkler scale the majority of South African wine regions would be classified as Region III locations with heat summation and degree days similar to the California wine region of Oakville in Napa Valley. The majority of annual precipitation occurs in the winter months between May and July.

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All images are sourced from Wikimedia Commons and licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

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