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Stellenbosch is the most known origin region and the central hub of Cape wine cultivation. The city is nicknamed "Eikestad" due to the abundance of oak trees in the area. It was founded in the late 17th century under the impetus of Governor Simon van der Stel, who had previously initiated the planting of vineyards in Constantia.

History of the Stellenbosch Region

Since the 17th century, the Cape has been recognized as a wine region, almost immediately following the arrival of the first European settlers. The Dutch, led by Governor Simon van der Stel, planted the first grapevines here during their journey around the Cape en route to the distant East Indies, where they made stops for provisions. Wine became one of the appealing products to produce in this region, both as a local beverage and as a stockpile on ships for the onward journey.

During that time, Stellenbosch was not selected as a wine cultivation area based on viticultural considerations, as the concept of 'terroir' was still unknown. Nevertheless, our ancestors made an excellent choice by directly opting for one of the best locations for viticulture in South Africa. Stellenbosch, along with the nearby Constantia, is directly influenced by the cool ocean nearby, which has a decisive impact on both viticulture and the quality of the wines.

Soil and Climate of Stellenbosch

Due to its location, Stellenbosch enjoys a warm climate, and the proximity of the cool ocean creates ideal conditions for winemaking. The cooling sea breeze slows down the ripening process of the grapes, allowing them to develop balanced acids. This results in wines with more tension and freshness in this region. Additionally, Stellenbosch benefits from soil that is particularly suitable for viticulture.

The unique red earth, forming the substrate of many important vineyards in the area, naturally retains water. This serves as a reserve supply for the moisture needs of the grapevines during the warm and dry summer months. Consequently, the grapevines need to root deeply to access their nutrients. This explains the remarkable strength and complexity of Stellenbosch wines, as well as their outstanding balance. It also emphasizes that the region is especially suitable for robust red wines, as red grape varieties thrive best in this warm climate and fertile soil. For white wines, the proximity of vineyards to the cool ocean is of great importance.

Types of Wine from Stellenbosch

The most common grape varieties from Stellenbosch include:

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