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The value of the global affair that is the Cape Winelands

Some argue that international buyers spoil the game for locals, using their dollars/euros/pounds to tilt the playing fields away from those constrained by rand-based wealth. But whatever they have spent on acquiring and upgrading estates in South Africa remains forever in the slopes and vineyards of the country's wine properties.

Chris Snelling via  -
Chris Snelling via Wikimedia Commons -
The South African wine industry is hardly a homegrown affair. Its first vines came with Jan van Riebeeck. It profited from a foreigner's (Simon van der Stel) written guidelines for grape-farming as well as the practices he implemented at Constantia. The arrival of the French Huguenots contributed to the overall wine-making competence of the colony; the European settlers of the 18th and 19th centuries added to these skills sets.

Imperial Preference created (and then destroyed) the 19th-century export market, while the Anglo-Boer War gave the industry - struggling to recover from the devastation of phylloxera - a new (admittedly temporary) but important consumer market.

The role played by the so-called "flying winemakers" in the immediate post-apartheid era served to fast-track the modernisation of cellar technology, compromised by years of isolation, while the export boom of the past couple of decades has helped the country's over-enthusiastic growers find markets for...

Read the full story on the Daily Maverick website.


AllAfrica is a voice of, by and about Africa - aggregating, producing and distributing 2000 news and information items daily from over 130 African news organisations and our own reporters to an African and global public. We operate from Cape Town, Dakar, Lagos, Monrovia, Nairobi and Washington DC.
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