South Africa - Coastal Region
The Coastal Region is a significant wine-producing area in the Western Cape that forms the heart of the South African wine industry. Based around Cape Town and stretching from Darling in the north to Cape Point and Constantia in the south, and to Stellenbosch and Paarl in the east, it accounts for nearly half of all the area under vine in South Africa.
It is one of the six officially designated regions of the Western Cape unit (along with Breede River Valley, Cape South Coast, Klein Karoo, Olifants River and Boberg) and contains within it many of the South Africa’s famous wine making areas: Franschhoek, Paarl, Stellenbosch, Swartland, Wellington, Darling, Tulbagh, Tygerberg and Cape Peninsula.
The official Coastal Region viticultural zone measures approximately 65 miles from north to south, and 30 miles east to west. It has a large diversity of both soils and climate – areas closest to the coast have maritime climates and ocean breezes, while areas further inland have more of a Mediterranean climate. Vineyards along the western coast from Constantia to Darling have granite soils, but Table Mountain sandstone is more common, particularly around Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl.
Consequently there is a huge number of grape varieties cultivated in the Coastal Region. Sauvignon Blanc is grown along the coast in Tygerberg, Constantia and Cape Point. Towards the inland mountain ranges, where the climate is hotter and drier, there is more Shiraz, Chenin Blanc and Pinotage grown. In the more southern areas of Stellenbosch and Constantia, wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are often found.