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The diverse country at the bottom of the African continent has been making quite a quality name for itself in winedom in recent years – these days South Africa is the world’s ninth-largest wine producer – although winemaking here dates back to the 17th century. Its wines are bold and distinctive, and the winelands in its western Cape lovely to visit. Truly an oenophile bucket-lister!
To delve into South Africa’s winemaking history, we have to go back to 1655, when the Dutch governor of the region decided to plant the Cape’s first vineyard. Since then, the particular local climate conditions (similar to those in the Mediterranean, with light breezes off the Atlantic Ocean), and the rocky topography have encouraged the development of a thriving wine country.