Where can we find Pinocat?

The history of wine in South Africa can be traced back to the mid-17th century, during the Dutch colonization of the region. At that time, Jan Van Riebeek, was tasked with planting the first vineyards in order to provide fresh fruit for the sailors during their trip to the Dutch East Indies and avoid scurvy. The production has been always concentrated in the Western Cape province, where the oceanic influence creates the perfect condition for winegrowing.

The signature grape of South Africa is Pinotage, an hybrid created from the crossing of Pinot Noir and Cinsault that is original from this country, however the most planted grape in the country is the white variety Chenin Blanc. 

The main production regions are:


Cape South Coast

Breede River Valley

Olifants River Valley

Klein Karoo


Coastal Region: Where wine met South Africa

This region, that encompasses the city of Cape Town, can be considered the birthplace of viticulture in South Africa as well as the place where Pinotage was born.

The main production regions of the country are located in this area, as well as the vast majority of the most famous appellations of this country. It’s also the first place where Pinotage was planted. 

The main subregions are:

Constantia: Located just south of Cape Town, in the Cape peninsula, the oceanic influences are so strong that it creates the perfect conditions for a long slow ripening period. Sauvignon Blanc is the most important grape nowadays, followed by Sémillon, however in the 19th century is was well known for the production of a sweet wine made from Muscat called Vin de Constance. It’s said that this wine was one of the favorites of Napoleon Bonaparte during its exile in Saint Helena.

✾ Durbanville: Located just north of Cape Town, this hilly terrain is cooled by the sea breezes blowing from the nearby ocean. The region consists of 12 wine states and, although Sauvignon Blanc is the most planted variety, it is also possible to find red varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah.

Stellenbosch: West to Cape Town, this subregion can be considered the heartland of wine production in South Africa. Its warm climate moderated by the cool winds blowing from False Bay favours the ripening of red grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinotage and Syrah. The main white varieties are Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Paarl: North to Stellenbosch and further inland, the subregion of Paarl was the main wine producing area of South Africa until the mid 20th century. KWV, one of the main South African producers, has its headquarters in this subregion. Its high diurnal range and hot temperatures during the day creates the necessary conditions for red grapes varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Pinotage. The most relevant white varieties are Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay.

Swartland: This vast subregion, the northernmost of all the coastal regions, used to be the source of inexpensive wines. However, in the last decades some exciting award-winning wines have emerged and it has become a hub for innovation and premium wine production. Some of the oldest Chenin Blanc vines of South Africa are planted in this region and premium quality wines from Syrah, Pinotage and Cabernet Sauvignon are also produced. In the southwest part of this subregion, the Darling area is well known for its old vines of Sauvignon Blanc, due to the cooler influence of the Atlantic Ocean.


Even if South Africa did not plant any vines before the 17th century, its signature grape is a native variety, Pinotage, hence my name. This grape is a crossing of Pinot Noir and Cinsault, also called Hermitage, and the wines produced with this variety benefit for a period of barrel ageing to smooth their tannins. Since the beginning of the 21th century, it has seen an increase of popularity and the best examples have won the favour of wine professionals and consumers alike.

Unlike other cats you will find here, I’m a blackfooted cat, a wild feline native from these lands. Don’t let my size and my cuteness fool you: I’m the deadliest cat of the planet according to the BBC, with a 60% hunting success rate. However, loss of habitat is threatening my survival so we need your help to draw attention of humans so it can be protected. I’m not as big as a lion or an elephant but all of us play an important role in the ecosystem and even the small felines like me deserve to be helped.

In the picture I’m beside a cart transporting barrels of Pinotage with the impresive Karoo landscape behind me.

Cape South Coast: wine born from the Ocean

This region is characterized by a strong oceanic influence due to the convergence of two oceans: the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean. This results in a longer ripening period and a cooler climate compared with other South African regions.

The main subregions are:

Walker Bay: This region is mostly famous for the quality of its Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, especially those planted in the area of Hemel-En-Aarde. Thanks to the weather conditions generated by the cool breezes generated by the Benguela current, these cool climate varieties can find the appropriate conditions for ripening. Other varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah are also grown with success.

Elgin: Northwest of Walker Bay, in this region is altitude and not the oceanic influence the main cooling influence. Sauvignon Blanc is the main grape variety planted in this region, although Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling and Syrah plantings are also relevant. 


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Breede River Valley: The heartland of South African wine industry

✾ Worcester: Situated at the western end of the Breede River Valley, its fertile soils favours high yields and it accounts for a significant proportion of South African wine production. The main grape varieties are Chenin Blanc and Colombard.

Robertson: This subregion benefits from a slightly cooler climate than Worcester due to the south easterly winds blowing from the ocean, known locally as the Cape Doctor. The most important grape varieties planted are Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Olifants River Valley: where water is more precious than gold

✾ Olifants River Valley: The northernmost region of South Africa, it follows the deep and narrow valley of the Olifants River. The concentration of endemic species is unusually high, even for South Africa, and modern irrigation techniques are fundamental in order to produce wine in a sustainable way as water is scarce. The most important varieties are Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinotage for reds and Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon for whites.

Klein Karoo: A land of extremes

Klein Karoo: This region enclosed by mountain ranges is the most isolated from the sea. Its main characteristics are low rainfall, arid air and an almost virtual absence of clouds. It’s a land of extremes regarding soils and climate. In the past, the most planted variety used to be Muscat, for the production of fortified wines, although nowadays the most important varieties are Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay. Due to climate change, producers are starting to experiment with varieties more resistant to droughts such as Touriga Nacional.