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Stellenbosch

District in South Africa, which belongs to the Coastal Region. It is bordered by the Helderberg with the town of Somerset West to the south and the Simonsberg to the north-east. There are the seven Wards Banghoek, Bottelary, Devon Valley, Jonkershoek Valley, Papegaaiberg, Polkadraai Hills and Simonsberg-Stellenbosch. Stellenbosch is named after the city located 50 kilometres east of Cape Town. It was founded in 1679 by the second Dutch governor Simon van der Stel (1639-1712) and named after him; the name roughly means "Stel's Bush". Stellenbosch is today considered the South African wine capital. It is home to the Wine&Spirits Board (state wine control authority), an agricultural college for the training of South African wine growers and the Oenoligical and Viticultural Reserach Institute "Nietvoorbij" with experimental vineyards and laboratories where the tastings for the classification as "Wine of Origin" take place.

Stellenbosch -  Rebflächen

The town is also home to the headquarters of Stellenbosch Farmer's Winery. A noteworthy wine route runs through the Greater Simonsberg, Stellenbosch Mountain, Helderberg, Stellenbosch Hills and Bottelary Hills sub-regions. The lovely hill country is one of the most scenic areas in South Africa. In the west there is sandy soil and in the east weathered granite. The vineyards cover more than 17,000 hectares. Two thirds of them are planted with the red wine varieties Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz(Syrah), Merlot, Pinotage, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir and Cinsaut, and one third with the white wine varieties Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Colombard, Sémillon and Hanepoot(Muscat d'Alexandrie). There is sufficient rainfall here even in the summer months, so unlike most other wine-growing areas in South Africa, hardly any artificial irrigation is required. The climate, which is influenced by the nearby Atlantic Ocean, is particularly suitable for red wine varieties, which is why Stellenbosch is considered the red wine region of South Africa.

Well known wineries are Alto Estate, Beyerskloof, Clos Malverne, Delaire, De Toren, De Trafford, Distell, Dornier, Eikendal, Ernie Els, Ken Forrester, Grangehurst, Hartenberg Estate, Jordan, Kanonkop Estate, Kanu, Le Bonheur Wine Estate, Lievland Estate, Meerlust Estate, Meinert, Morgenhof, Mulderbosch, Neil Ellis, Neethlingshof Estate, Overgaauw, Rust en Vrede Estate, Rustenberg, Saxenburg, Simonsig, Stark-Condé, Stellenzicht, Thelema Mountain, Tokara, Uiterwyk Estate, Vegenoegd Wine Estate, Vergelegen, Vlottenburg, Vriesenhof, Warwick Estate, Waterford, Welmoed, Zevenwacht and Zonnebloem

By Dave Bezaire & Susi Havens-Bezaire - flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

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