One of the countries of the so-called New World in which wine began to be produced outside the Old World was South Africa. While the first vines were planted in Mexico in 1521, the vines arrived in South Africa until 1655.
The nation of the rainbow is an African country located at the southern tip of the continent. Its capital is Pretoria and it has borders with Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland and Lesotho.
It was named after apartheid, referring to a speech given by Nelson Mandela in which he reads "Each of us is as intimately attached to the soil of this beautiful country as are the famous jacaranda trees of Pretoria and the mimosa trees of the bushveld - a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world ... "(Mandela, 1996)
In this country, they have a mission regarding wine. Here we seek not only to make better wine but to make wine better.
The geography of the country makes it a place with the production of different styles of wine. The Atlantic and Indian oceans provide an important maritime influence that is the cause of the fog and breezes that cool the vineyards in the summer. The mountainous regions of the country make the regions perfectly defined and give rise to different types of meso, macro and microclimates.
In the Cape region, there is one of the six floral kingdoms, Cape Floral Kingdom. This is the smallest but the most diverse of the six; in the Floral Kingdom of the Cape, there are more varieties of flowers than in the entire northern hemisphere.
And this translates to the terroir that exists in the cape region. Just like the diversity of flowers, there is also a diversity of climates, soils, grape varieties, etc.
Wine has been made in South Africa for more than 350 years and the countries that have influenced the nation over time have been Holland, Germany, France and Italy. Despite this, South Africa is considered New World, and within its practices, in winemaking, there are many modern and innovative techniques. With courses and universities specializing in oenology and viticulture, the wine industry in South Africa is modernizing day by day and is a pioneer in research on viticulture practices.
South Africa is one of the strictest countries in terms of its regulation for the classification system of its wines.
There are certifications in South Africa such as Fairtrade, SWSA (Sustainable Wine South Africa), WIETS (Wine Industry Ethical Trade Association) and Integrity & Sustainability that regulate the quality and process of winemaking.
The Wine of Origin certification guarantees that the wine was tested by a panel of tasters and approved for trade, that 100% of the grapes used come from the area specified in the bottle, that 85% of the grapes are of the vintage of the year that is specified in the bottle and that 85% of the grapes are of the variety that is specified in the bottle.
75% of all Fairtrade (fair trade) wine in the world comes from South Africa. It is here that working in a vineyard is the golden dream because, in addition to being an excellent place to work, 90% of the vineyards have special certifications that guarantee the integrity and good practices of the whole process of elaboration and trade.
For these and many reasons, South African wine is not only good but one of the best and with the best practices.