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In 1652, the Dutch doctor and merchant Jan van Riebeeck (1619-1677) founded Cape Town, named after the Cape of Good Hope, about 45 kilometres to the south, and three years later planted the first vines brought from Europe at the foot of Table Mountain near today's capital. The first vintage was a 1659 with 15 litres of Muscat wine. From the end of the 17th century onwards, it was the 200 Huguenots who were expelled from their French homeland, as the name of the wine-growing region Franschhoek (French Corner) reminds us, as well as German and Dutch winegrowers who further developed South African viticulture. Their descendants still play an important role today. The Dutch governor Simon van der Stel (1639-1712), who was appointed from 1679, founded the town of Stellenbosch and in 1685 laid out the famous Constantia vineyard, from which one of the most legendary sweet wines in the world called "Vin de Constance" was produced for the European ruling courts at that time. In the 17th century, large quantities of port and sherry style wines as well as brandy were exported to England. In the 18th and 19th centuries, Dutch governors successfully promoted viticulture. In 1885, phylloxera also reached South Africa and caused devastating damage.

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Egon Mark

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Egon Mark
Diplom-Sommelier, Weinakademiker und Weinberater, Volders (Österreich)

The world's largest Lexicon of wine terms.

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