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Africa, oh Africa, your beauty is beyond compare.

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Sultry vineyards surrounded by lush rolling hills and ancient mountains that cradle valleys of rich soil.

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South African wine history dates back to 1659.

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The Constantia vineyard of Cape Town bottles one of the greatest wines in the world.

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Because of intense international demand for wine, new investment has focused on the major vineyard areas of Cape Town, Paarl, Stellenbosch and Worcester.

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There are about 60 appellations in the Wine of Origin (WO) system, which states wine must be made from 100% of the grapes from the designated area.

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Single vineyard wines must come from less than 5 hectares.

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An Estate Wine can come from adjacent farms, as long as they are farmed together and wine is produced on site.

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In 1659 the founder of Cape Town, Jan van Riebeeck, created the first wine recorded in South Africa. jan van

The roots of the South African wine industry can be directly traced to the Dutch East India Company in what is now modern day Cape Town.

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Jan van Riebeeck was a Dutch surgeon given the position of managing the station and planting vineyards to produce wine and grapes that would help sailors fight scurvy on long ocean voyages.

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In 1685, a large 1,900 acre South African vineyard was established just outside Cape Town that was named Constantia.

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Although Van der Stel’s death caused the property to fall into disrepair, it was revived in 1778 once Hendrik Cloete purchased it.vines

By the early 1900’s more than 80 million vines were planted that created a wine glut, with some vitners pouring their unsaleable wine into rivers and streams.

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To counteract the over-supply of wine, yields were restricted and minimum prices set, that encouraged the production of fortified wine and brandy.brandy

Until the end of the 20th century, the wine industry of South Africa received very little attention from the world due to aparteid.aparteid

Not until the 1990’s when apartheid ended did the export market open up for South African wine.wine boxes

Many South Africa producers adopted new wine making technologies to become internationally competitive that shifted their focus to quality not quantity wine.

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In 1990, less than 30% of all the grapes harvested was for wine, but by 2003 production reversed with over 70% of the grapes harvested for wine.imagereader

The Stellenbosch district is the second oldest wine region in South Africa, after Constantia, and is responsible for around 14% of the country’s annual wine production.village

For most of the 20th century the area near Paarl was for the heart of the South African wine industry.

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However, superb terroir have revitalized interest in the area in recent years.winery

Grapes varieties include Chenin blanc, Riesling, Cape Riesling, Palomino, Trebbiano and Semillon.field

Lets take a look at some stunning vineyards and wineries.

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South African vineyards are typical authentic Dutch Colonial in architecture style with an african flair.vines house

The styles vary, but elegance is the order of the day.

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Many are centuries old and have humble facades, yet grand interiors.

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The settings often are near water, either rivers, creeks or ponds.

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Old world meets new world technology is apparent.

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Many estates have worker housing to help with production.worker housing

Natural beauty is reflected by refined interiors connected to the vineyard with exceptional verandas and patios.

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with exceptional views beyond comparem

pathways wander the properties to tranquility

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Lets take a step inside and look into their world…

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Formal yet comfortable, with classic lines is common.

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Quality minded in taste and function

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Mostly new world European furniture

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romantic in nature

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Designed with sophisticated ambience

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South African vineyard homes are understated and generational in their approach, with furniture passed down from mother to daughter.

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Turning the eye from one pretty item to the next.

imagereaderCAJ66JD3Kitchens are designed with functionality in mind and cooking for large gatherings

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and where dining in rustic and simple

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to downright rural and unique

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Yet it is the relaxation that is treasured here.

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Capturing the call of nature and imagination

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Dare I say images of the movie “Out of Africa”

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Meryl at her finest…

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If I had an interior that moves me with my emotions not someone else idea of design it would be African plantation meets European elegance.e

The design is something that speaks to a persons soul

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coupled with a vineyard is just the icing on the cake

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Of course the perks of swimming pools and elegant outdoor space is an added bonus.

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Where water fountains and outdoor shade keep the sun at bayfountainA prudent, necessary marriage of land and home intertwined

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with substanance and income

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Can your mind travel far away to the African vineyards for just a moment?

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Take a moment to capture the essence of the vineyards of South Africa?

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To a softer, slower paced lifestyle that suits the mind and body?

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Can you imagine seeing the African wild from the confines of home?

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Can you picture yourself here?driveway

May her vineyards be forever blessed.

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