Fun Facts about South Africa’s Wine & Region
Here are some interesting statistics about the South African wine industry you may not know:
- South Africa currently ranks 8th in world wine production.
- 1-7: Italy, France, Spain, USA, Australia, Chile & Argentina.
BTW - These 8 countries account for over 75% of total world production!
- South Africa is planted to roughly 55% white grapes, 45% red grapes.
- Leading White Varietals: Chenin Blanc 18%, Colombard 11%, Sauvignon Blanc 11%, Chardonnay 7%
- Leading Red Varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon 11%, Syrah/Shiraz 10%, Pinotage 7.5%, Merlot 6%
Yes, you read those numbers correctly - South Africa's "Signature" grape is only the 6th most widely planted varietal and white grapes lead in production.
- South Africa has a little over 525 registered wineries, with around 225 of those qualifying as producing "estate produced" wines.
- South Africa's largest wine regions known as "Wines of Origin" are Stellenbosch (15k+ hectares) and Paarl (14.6k+ hectares), with Breedenkloof, Roberson and Swartland rounding out the top 5.
- South Africa's Wine of Origin appellation system guarantees that 100% of the grapes were grown in the state region. Unlike France or Italy's appellation systems there are no rules for what grapes can be grown or how they are grown.
Speaking of HOW South African grapes are grown, be sure to look for the "Integrity and Sustainability" seal on the capsule area of your South African wine bottle. While the appellation/Wine of Origin doesn't have any quality stipulations, this seal insures that the wine was not only produced with sustainable farming, it must also meet and exceed many other minimum quality regulations and tests.