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South Africa’s grape varieties: chenin blanc still in the lead

>> Saturday, February 12, 2011

Chenin blanc is not so often called steen, as it used to be, but it is still South Africa’s most grown grape variety, albeit decreasing. Quite a lot of it goes to making the very respectable, sometimes excellent, South African brandy. Pinotage, the exclusivity of south African vineyards, often considered an emblem of SA grape growing, accounts for only 6% of the surface.

These are the most grown grape varieties (2009, % of surface):

Chenin blanc, 18.4%, - (=decreasing)
Cabernet sauvignon, 12.3%, -
Colombard, 11.8%, =
Shiraz (syrah), 9.9%, +
Sauvignon blanc, 9.3%, +
Chardonnay, 8.3%, +
Merlot, 6.5%, =
Pinotage, 6%, -

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