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Stellenbosch is not only the second oldest wine region in South Africa but also the second oldest settlement after Cape Town. It was founded in 1679 on the banks of the Eerste River by Europeans and got its name from the Dutch governor, Simon van der Stel. The Stellenbosch community today is mainly known for its exports of quality wines from 120 different wineries. Since the 90s, this African city has been one of the fastest growing cities in South Africa. Recently wine tourism has attracted many tourists to taste unique wines.
Together with Paarl y Franschhoek, Stellenbosch forms the Cape Winelands, where unique red and white wines are produced. The Stellenbosch wine region is close to the coast and the influence of the Atlantic Ocean, which does not get warmer than 17 degrees even in summer, gives the grape varieties a fresh oceanic touch. The Mediterranean climate with hot summers, cool winters and clear, sunny skies offers perfect characteristics for producing high quality white and red wines. The average summer temperature in the South African region is 19 degrees Celsius, allowing unique grape varieties to grow and prosper here.
There is no need to use artificial irrigation in Stellenbosch as there is a lot of rainfall in the area during the winter months but also in summer.
Subdivision of Stellenbosch
Stellenbosch is divided into further areas called Wards. Here are some of the most important Wards:
- Devon Valley
- Polkadraai Hills
All Wards von Stellenbosch are popular for the red wine production and the grape varieties Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinotage and Shiraz are used. For white wines, the varieties Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc are used, which tend to feel good in the sandy soil. In this South African wine region, approx. 60% of the wine soils are planted with red varieties and 40% with white varieties.
In addition, a new grape variety was produced in Stellenbosch in 1924. The variety Pinotage is a mixture between Pinot Noir and Cinsault and is one of the most popular varieties in South Africa,
The vineyards of Stellenbosch extend over lush and green hills, from Heidelberg in the south to the northern region, where the Simonsberg Mountains can be found. The terrain offers a unique mesoclimate that is perfect for growing a variety of grapes. The soils are made up of granite and sandstone, which are perfect water reservoirs so that, as mentioned above, there is no need for artificial irrigation.
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