South Africa boasts a well-established wine network; the vast majority and most developed routes are located in Cape Town and the Cape Winelands in the Western Cape Province.
Home to some of the world’s most bountiful vineyards and boasting numerous award-winning restaurants, Cape Town and the Western Cape is a gastronomic wonderland, with a history intrinsically tied to the vine. Dine at world renowned restaurants, challenge your culinary notions and break bread at cutting edge eateries, taste iconic vintages at some of the oldest wine farms on the continent, or simply combine it all with a pairing presented by the world’s best.
Here are a few accolades for Cape Town and the Cape Winelands:
• 18/20 top restaurants located in Cape Town and the Western Cape
• 21 established Wine Routes in the Western Cape
• Oldest wine route in South Africa – Stellenbosch Wine Route
• #8 Lonely Planet selects Cape Winelands as a Top 10 Best Value Destination for 2020
Learn more about Cape Town and the Western Cape by clicking here: Cape Town and the Western Cape
Visitors can look forward to award-winning wines, a variety of events and festivals, a wide range of activities from hiking to mountain biking and whale watching, world-class accommodation, cutting edge restaurants, designer golf courses and stunning scenery are all part of the enticing mix.
The South African Wine Routes Forum (SAWRF) is made up of representatives of the wine routes. This is a joint initiative with representatives from Vinpro, Wosa and Wesgro with the aim of a cohesive wine industry in the Cape.
There are 566 wine cellars, consisting of private wine cellars and producer cellars operating in South Africa of which approximately 450 are members of an official wine route.
Stellenbosch Wine Routes was the first wine route established in South Africa in 1971 and it remains the most developed of the wine routes followed by Franschhoek in the Cape Winelands.
Cape Town and the Cape Winelands consist of 10 wine routes that spread across the regions of the Western Cape Province:
• Constantia Wine Route – has the oldest Wine Estate in South Africa – Groot Constantia
• Durbanville Wine Route
• Breedekloof Wine Valley
• Franschhoek Wine Valley
• Paarl Wine Route
• Robertson Wine Valley
• Stellenbosch Wine Routes – Oldest Wine Routes in South Africa
• Tulbagh Wine Route
• Wellington Wine Route
• Worcester Wine and Olive Route
The wine economy in Cape Town and the Cape Winelands, South Africa
The South African wine industry is supported by various organisations. The Department of Viticulture and Oenology, Stellenbosch University offers pre-graduate as well as post-graduate degrees in Viticulture, Oenology and Wine Biotechnology; Elsenburg Agricultural College offers a course in cellar technology and the ARC-Nietvoorbij is a research facility with various experimental farms. In a joint venture, the South African wine and table grape industries and Stellenbosch University established the Institute for Grape and Wine Sciences (IGWS) to enhance the international competitiveness of the wine and table grape industries.
All wines for export must be granted an export licence. Samples of each batch of wine destined for foreign countries are sent to the Wine & Spirit Board at Nietvoorbij, Stellenbosch where they undergo detailed tasting tests and chemical analysis in the laboratories before licences are granted. An official seal is given to each bottle by the Wine & Spirit Board, which verifies that the claims made on the label regarding origin, vintage and grape variety are true. South Africa leads the world in environmental sustainability and regulated production integrity. From the 2010 vintage, a new Sustainability Seal for South African wines was introduced, which traces the wine from vine to bottle. The seal is a world first, and certifies a wine’s integrity as well as sustainability.
Global wine production in 2017 decreased by 8.2% year-on-year (y-o-y) to 24670 million litres, compared to 26880 million litres produced in 2016. Global wine consumption remained constant at 24100 million litres in 2016.
South Africa's total wine exports increased by 4.7% y-o-y in 2017,bulk wine by 5.6% and packaged wine by 3.4%. Packaged wine exports in 2017 were 4.9% lower than levels recorded in 2013. In 2016, a total of 428.5million litres of the wine produced in South Africa was exported, representing 47.7% of wine production.
The largest destination market for South African wine exports is the United Kingdom, followed by Germany and the Netherlands. In 2017, the volume of packaged wine exported to the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, USA and Russia increased, while it decreased to Sweden, China, Canada, Denmark and Belgium. 40% of South Africa’s vineyards are found in the Breedekloof, Little Karoo, Robertson and Cape South Coast regions. A further 45% lie in the Swartland, Stellenbosch and Paarl regions, all of which are found in the Western Cape.