The main areas are nestled on top of the country around Cape of Good Hope, where the first vineyards were planted by Dutch merchants in the 1650s for wine production. Why there - because this was the first stop for ships sailing from Australia to Europe, and at that time it was believed that wine cures scurvy (sailors' disease). From there, the vine spread to South Africa's most famous region to date, Stellenbosch, as well as to Paarl, home to their best fortified wines and Swartland.
The most common grape variety here is the white Chenin Blanc, known as Steen. This is a universal grape that makes wonderful, dry and semi-dry wines with a strong melon aroma, as well as rich dessert wines. The red Pinotage is the symbol of South Africa, a crossing between Pinot Noir and Cinsault, whose aromatic profile varies from light and refreshing to complex, dense and spicy.