Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the world's most widely recognized red wine grape varieties. It is grown in nearly every major w
A general view of Durbanville' hills wineyard's cellar taken 23 March 2006, while the annual harvest is taking place all over the South African Western Cape winelands, starting from the begenning of February until the end of April. Currently 110 200 hectares of vines producing wine grapes are under cultivation in South Africa over an area some 800 kilometres in length. However, of these 11 595 hectares are under sultanas, used only for distilling wine for brandy. White varietals constitute 55% of the plantings for wine, with Chenin Blanc plantings comprising 20% of the total. Red varietals account for 45% of the national vineyard. The most widely planted red varietal is Cabernet Sauvignon, accounting for 15% of the total. Shiraz now accounts for 9%, while Pinotage, which is indigenous to South Africa , and Merlot each represent 7%. About 348 500 people are employed both directly and indirectly in the wine industry, including farm labourers, those involved in packaging, retailing and wine tourism. Wine tourism employs some 48 350 of these people. According to a study, commissioned by the SA Wine Industry Information & Systems (SAWIS), a body supplying data to the local wine industry, and published in 2000 but based on 1999 figures, the wine industry contributes 9,7% to the Western Cape's gross geographic product. The study also concluded that of the R14,6 billion contributed by the wine industry to the regional economy, some R3,5 billion was generated indirectly through wine-tourism activities centred in the winelands. In terms of world wine production, South Africa ranks as number nine in volume production of wine and produces 3,1% of the world's wine.
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