South Africa is well known for its wildlife, beautiful nature, friendly people, white sharks, Cape Town, Johannes Berg and… its wine! Since 1659 winemaking is an important industry in South Africa. For many visitors, their first encounter with a South African wine list can be a daunting experience.

Franschhoek[photo: Eline van Nunen]

The wine lands, vineyards and wineries are an interesting add-on to any MICE or business trip. A couple of must-do’s and tips to make your South African experience an unforgettable one:

The big five
There are three traditional wine growing regions; Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek. But do not forget to visit the Hemel-en-Aarde and Robertson areas, both producing memorable wines.

south_africa_3[photo: Dragonfly / Green Route]

Fruits, smoke and earth
Pinotage is South Africa’s own red variety. The wine is bred in 1923 as a mix of Cinsault (Hermitage) and Pinot Noir. Tip: try Kanonkop and L’Avenir Single Block! Flavours include notes of red berry, cherry, plum, tropical fruit and have a smoky and a unique earthiness character.

Wineries South Africa[photo: Eline van Nunen]

Sparkles all over
South Africa’s sparkling wine, made in the age-old French tradition, is called Méthode Cap Classique or MCC. Where to find the best MCC? Franschhoek is considered a prime MCC region, with top farms such as Gra- ham Beck and Haute Cabrière. Other great producers are Steenberg and Simonsig.

Cape Town[photo: Eline van Nunen]

Festival season
A good way to get to know the South African wines is at a wine festival. The top wine festivals to attend are: The Roberston Wacky Wine Weekend (June), the Nederburg Auction (for serious wine buyers – September), Pinotage on Tap (October) and the Franschhoek Cap Classique and Champagne Festival (December).

Robertson wine[photo: Robertson, South Africa]

For more information on wine trips, business trips and event ideas in South Africa, please contact our partner and specialist Green Route.