For more than 350 years, the cultures of Africa, Europe and the East have mingled in Cape Town, the gateway to the South African winelands and a culturally vibrant city with a rich, colourful history. It was here, in 1990, that Nelson Mandela took his historic walk to freedom. Today, South Africa, a country of enormous diversity, is a peaceful democracy, often termed the ‘rainbow nation’.

South Africa celebrates 23 years of democracy this year, and to coincide with the country’s National Day on 27 April, its wine industry is also celebrating its remarkable achievements since the advent of democracy.

In the past two decades or so, through investment, technology, dedication and passion, the South African wine industry has been transformed from a sleeping giant to a vibrant business that embraces tradition, innovation, heritage, diversity and sustainability.

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Today, South African wines, which offer an abundance of choice across style and price point, have achieved international recognition. They have been deemed among the most exciting in the world, with adjectives like rule-breaking, trailblazing, captivating, daring, original and superb increasingly linked to them by influential critics and sommeliers. The industry is also drawing praise for its iconic offerings, made by highly regarded producers with a long-standing reputation for consistency and excellence.

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No wonder South African wine is becoming more recognised in Hong Kong in both the restaurant scene and at retail level. Here are a few comments from people who have recently experienced South African wine:

South Africa is one of the oldest New World wine-producing countries, where the viticulture industry has been established since 1659. After many visits to many wineries and meeting some of the nicest and most talented people in the wine industry, I am convinced that South African wines have a place in everyone’s cellar. —David Wong, Macau

I was so surprised by the diversity of wines produced in such a small region where you can find classic Bordeaux, Champagne, Rhône, Alsace, Burgundy, Napa and Port-style wines in the same area within three hours’ driving distance. How could you find another place like that in the world? —Joe Yang, Macau

South African wines offer awesome value and feature styles and tastes that are food friendly, blending elegance and power. —Isabella Kong, Hong Kong

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South African wines are great for their food-friendly character, so pairing them with handmade pâtés, fresh sausages and cured meats gives them the perfect opportunity to shine.Lawrence Cheung, Hong Kong

Every April, we celebrate the anniversary of the Rainbow Nation with our annual month-long Discover South Africa campaign, inviting everyone to explore the diversity of our wine and enjoy it with the equally diversified cuisines that the city offers – or simply share it with friends. Our partner list is getting longer every year. Check them out before the month’s end.

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Wine pairing menus: Cuisine Cuisine ifc, Dynasty, Hoi King Heen, Nanhai No. 1, The French Window, Zuma

Wines of the month: Bungalow, La Vin, Le Bistro Winebeast, Mirage Bar & Restaurant, Mr & Mrs Fox, Son Tung Kee RestaurantThai Farm RestaurantWooloomooloo Steakhouse

To enjoy at home: APITA, Brix Wines & Spirits, Market Place by Jason’s, Oliver’s, PIAGO, Schmidt Vinothek, Vino1855, Watson’s Wine

Please refer to the full participating list here.

Keep exploring and enjoying South African wine and don’t forget to share your South African Wine Moment on Facebook or Instagram with hashtag #drinkSA before 5 May 2017. You may be the lucky one to take home a Vintec 18-bottle wine cabinet.

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