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BRIEF PROFILE OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN WINE INDUSTRY

The South African wine industry has made great strides forward with the application of modern scientific viticulture and enological practices and the use of state-of-the-art production equipment. The continuing research into varieties, soil types, disease and plant quality control, fermentation, etc., at the nation's research facilities will help ensure the future growth and economic viability of the South African wine industry.
The wine industry in South Africa is undergoing an exciting period of change, both in the vineyard and in the winery. Winemakers are experimenting with new varieties of vine, as well as new clones of existing varietals such as Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. Large-scale experimentation with rootstocks is taking place to establish which planting material is particularly suited to conditions at the Cape, co-ordinated by the Vine Improvement Board.
South Africa’s wine production is largely concentrated around the Western Cape Province while experiencing some fast-growing wine production trends in the Provinces of Northern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. According to world statistics South Africa occupies 8th position as being one of the world’s leading countries in the production of competitive wine. South Africa produces a variety of red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinotage (being unique to South Africa), Pinot Noir, Shiraz, and other latest varieties. With regard to white wine the country produces such varieties as Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Viognier, as well as other competitive blends.

SOUTH AFRICAN SOCIETY FOR ENOLOGY & VITICULTURE

The aim of the South African Society for Enology & Viticulture is to serve as a forum for making the latest relevant scientific knowledge available to all South African wine and grape producers; optimizing the quality of S.A. grapes, wines and related products constantly and distributing this technology internationally.

WINETECH

Winetech is an operating unit of the South African Wine Industry Council (SA Wine Council). As the wine industry in South Africa continues evolving and keeps growing as well, there are different committees within the Winetech structure responsible for the effective functioning of all the supply sectors within the framework of production development and wine consumption in South Africa such as:

  • Bottling, Packaging and Distribution 
  • Brandy and Distilling 
  • Microbiology 
  • By- and Waste Product Handling 
  • High-technology machinery 
  • Plant Protection 
  • Organic Cultivation and Production

In order to cater for the increasing demand for the country to produce wine that is competitive in the world market, the University of Stellenbosch, the second oldest university in South Africa and the oldest in the Cape Town area, boasts of the only Department of Oenology & Viticulture in the nation.

THE GLOBAL NETWORK OF GREAT WINE CAPITALS

The Global Network of Great Wine Capitals works to encourage international winery tourism, as well as economic, academic and cultural exchanges between these famous capitals of wine. This global network includes cities as Bilbao-Rioja (Spain), Bordeaux (France), Cape Town (South Africa), Florence (Italy), Melbourne (Australia), Mendoza (Argentina), Porto (Portugal) and San Francisco - Napa Valley (USA). Source: http://www.greatwinecapitals.com