The establishment of a victual station at the Cape midway through the 17th century led to the planting of the first vineyard in 1655 and the making of wine from grapes grown at the Cape on 2 February 1659. As in Europe, certain areas and farms became known for wines with their own distinct character. The wines of Constantia, for instance, became famous - and even today are considered among the finest ever produced.
For a long time, this uniqueness of the South African-wine producing areas and farms was not legally protected. An official Wine of Origin scheme was only established in 1972, when legislation in this regard was formulated. This new scheme would not only protect wines of origin but also wines made from a specific cultivar or vintage.
Certain basic principles were taken into consideration when the system was formulated. It was, for example, necessary to comply with EU regulations because a great deal of South African wine was exported to Europe. Principles such as honesty in business, factual terms, titles, adaptability, local marketing truths and free participation were addressed.
South Africa's Wine of Origin certification scheme was officially instituted in 1973, in accordance with the Wine, Other Fermented Beverages and Spirits Act of 1957.
WINE & SPIRIT BOARD
View details of the Wine & Spirit Board
WINE OF ORIGIN SCHEME
View details of the Wine of Origin Scheme
WINE OF ORIGIN AREAS
View a list of production areas defined in terms of the Wine of Origin Scheme with an indication of the regions and districts wherein situated
THE ROLE OF CULTIVAR IN WINE OF ORIGIN
The role of cultivar in Wine of Origin
THE ROLE OF VINTAGE AS A GUIDE TO THE CHARACTER OF WINE
View the role of vintage
CERTIFICATION OF WINE AS A GUARANTEE TO THE PUBLIC
View details of the certification of wine
CERTIFICATION OF ESTATE BRANDY
View details of the certification of estate brandy
THE OFFICIAL SEAL OF THE WINE AND SPIRIT BOARD
View the official seal
WO AND IPW SEAL
View details of the joint, voluntary WO and IPW seal
View a list of label requirements