*The following post is a contributed article
When you think of where to travel to experience the best of wine, the first place you’ll think of is France. After all, the French have been teaching the rest of the world how to make great wine for centuries.
The next place you might consider is Italy, or perhaps an up-and-comer, like Chile. But few people would make South Africa as their top choice.
For many people in the wine world and members of exclusive wine clubs, this is puzzling. South Africa not only produces some of the best wines in the world, but it also has the potential to be the world leader in wine production thanks to its unique geography and climate.
People who love travel will love wine culture in South Africa, as well as the wine itself. Here’s why South Africa could be the best place for wine in the world.
It Expects Nothing From You
South Africa isn’t like France or other European wine-growing regions in the sense that it’s not pretentious at all: the growers expect nothing from you. All you do is check in at your hotel and go around tasting wines, thinking about which you like and which you don’t. It’s more about the tacit experience than it is about showing off to your friends that you know the difference between a wine with cherry undertones from one rich in tannins.
There’s A Vast Region To Explore
South Africa is a big place. Once you get out of the Cape, there’s a vast region to explore, with many different wine-making areas all offering something unique. Go East into the interior of the country, and you’ll come across the Swellendam region, a vast area dedicated to growing dry whites, hundreds of miles from Cape Town itself.
Don’t want to venture as far? Then you can choose among several coast wine-growing areas, from Durbanville to Constantia, to Paarl. In total, South Africa dedicates more than a quarter of a million acres of land to wine production, making it one of the most abundant crops in the country.
The Food Isn’t Bad Either
South African food isn’t famous, much like the wine. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not worth a try. What’s so good about the local cuisine is that, well, it’s local. Often, you’ll come across a village in which families have opened up their homes as makeshift restaurants for tourists. Meals are family-friendly and overwhelmingly organic.
The Winelands of South Africa are particularly popular among seafood chefs. Some of the world’s best have set up here, so if you fancy a tasty meal to go with your local wine, you’ll find plenty of places along the coast.
Lavish Hotels Abound
Once you’ve finished tasting wine for the day, you want somewhere you can go to relax and take in everything you’ve learned. South Africa is home to some of the most lavish boutique hotels in the world, all at lower prices than you’d find in North America or Europe.
So, where will your next wine-tasting trip be? France or South Africa?
*This post is a contributed article. Thank you to the brands for providing these as samples to share with my readers!