South Africa was largely ignored on the world stage until Apartheid ended in the 1990’s. The wine trade was focussed on bulk and easy to grow, high yielding grapes like Chenin and Cinsault. With renewed interest in South Africa under Nelson Mandela, the introduction of modern winery techniques, flying winemakers and a new market premium wines came to the forefront. There is a strong emphasis on European varietals in order of planting Chenin (Steen), Cab Sauv, Colombard, Shiraz, Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinotage, Merlot. Pinotage is the exception, being a hybrid grape created in South Africa by crossing Pinot Noir with Cinsault and making a very unique style of wine.
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