When it comes to wine, South Africa is not the first country that comes to mind for a lot of people. Many people do not associate South Africa with wine at all, which might be somewhat surprising when you consider that wine has been made here for hundreds of years.

De Leeuwenhof Estate in Paarl

While the country’s wine industry is relatively young compared to Europe or American wine industries, the Wine Spectator (the largest and most influential wine publication in the world) have South Africa as one of the world’s top wine producers.

According to them:
* Of the “New World” countries, California is tied for the highest percentage of reviewed wines that rated 90+ at 29%. South African wines were tied with California and ahead of every other country, also with 29% of their submitted wines rating 90+. Yet they had the lowest average price for 90+ rated wines.

* South Africa is now what must be one of the best and most exciting wine tourist destinations in the world. In South Africa the idea is that you spend a day – or at least several hours – visiting a winery. Virtually all of them have at least one restaurant, with most offering tours and some boasting museums or jeep tours.

* All the wineries open to the public have tasting rooms, and these are very elegant places – most have been rebuilt and almost all offer some sort of food or pairing option.