When you think of touring a vineyard, typically somewhere in France, Italy, or California comes to mind, but did you know that there are bourgeoning wine regions sprouted throughout Africa as well? Here’s just a small sample of the African vineyards and wineries every wine lover should visit.
Napier Vineyards, South Africa
Vines from the “oldest soil on Earth” grow on Napier Vineyards, one of South Africa’s most prestigious wineries.
Located in Wellington, the Napier farm is known for its grape varieties including Cabernet Franc and Chardonnay, which “grow in north and south-west facing slopes to achieve a perfect ripeness.” The vineyard offers private one-on-one tours for visitors, who can learn more about its winemaking process.
Napier Vineyards is the recipient of several awards including the 2017 Berlinder Gold for its Lion Creek Chenin Blanc Sauvignon Blanc and the 2015 Double Gold for its Lion Creek Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz.
Interested in a collaboration with Napier Vineyards’ winemaking or wine compositions? They welcome you to contact them.
Wine region of Tunisia
Grape cultivation has been a staple in Tunisian history for nearly 2,500 years and today, it remains to be an important part of the country’s history.
Known simply as “Tunisia’s wine region,” the vineyards that are housed there produce some of the continent’s finest wines, including Les Vignerons de Carthage Magon Majus, Mornag Grand Cru, a dry Merlot/Syrah blend with a smooth, savory taste.
Plan on making the most of your visit by pairing the tour with another nature activity. For instance, many who tour the region also schedule time to soak in Korbous, a deep ravine that kisses the sea near the village of Sidi Rais.
Château Roslane, Morocco
Considered North Africa’s first vineyard, Château Roslane has mastered the art of winemaking with more than 700 hectares of land where its grapes are grown. It remains the only château on the Moroccan landscape, combining culture and innovation with its state of the art facilities located at the center of the vineyard.
Wine connoisseurs who have visited the vineyard rave about its two wine favorites: the OULED THALEB Ait Souala 2012 and Medallion 2013. Visitors are also encouraged to visit Le Château Roslane Boutique Hôtel & Spa, a captivating experience that encapsulates the mysticism of Morocco. Flanked in the heart of the vineyard, guests are greeted with breathtaking landscapes and are housed next to spas, gyms, and palatial pools.
Castel Winery, Ethiopia
When the late Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and Castel Group president Pierre Castel sat for a light-hearted discussion one Monday evening, neither of them knew they would agree to sign a partnership aimed at boosting Ethiopia’s economy.
Without hesitation, the two established the Castel Winery. The vineyard boasts first-in-class wine production made in the city of Ziway, where the grapes mature at a winery roughly 150 miles away from the country’s capital. Visit Castel for wine tastings hosted by experts and chose from a wide assortment of red and whites including Chenin, Semillion, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Graceland Vineyards, South Africa
The Graceland Vineyards of South Africa operate on a simple philosophy: no insecticides.
The vineyard’s owners, Susan and Paul McNaughton, say the philosophy is what contributes to producing top quality grapes. Each year, grapes are carefully selected in small batches and only nitrogen is added to make the wine, which includes plunging the grape’s skin four times per day. On the eighth day, the wine is pressed and racked to oak barrels where fermentation takes place.
Don’t go to the vineyard for the tour alone. For as low as $57 a night, you can escape to a romantic getaway under a thatched roof equipped with vintage furniture. During the day, visit local South African restaurants and participate in wine tastings. Booking an appointment in advance is encouraged.
The Winelands of Algeria
What makes the Winelands of Algeria special is its precision in giving each wine an individual expression. Its four most popular grapes: Clairette, Muscat, Merseguéra, and Faranah each come bursting with flavor that satisfies the palate. More notably, the Algerian vineyards have produced high-quality rosé wines in shades of pink that range from watermelon to peach.
Enthusiasts who visit the winery are also welcome to visit the vineyard’s cellars and bottling plant in Oran, which prides itself on being equipped with its own analysis laboratory, which tests the quality and traceability of its wines