The role of cultivar in Wine of Origin

All the cultivars used in South Africa for the production of wine of origin belong to the Vitis vinifera species, which was originally imported from Europe.

Although most of the cultivars cultivated locally today were originally imported, various unique South African cultivars created by crossing varietals have been released. The best known is the red variety Pinotage, which is a cross between Pinot noir and Cinsaut.

Below is a list of cultivars approved for the production of Wine of Origin. Each cultivar has specific characteristics regarding its adaptability to the soil and climate, and the suitability of its fruit for the production of a wine with a specific style or of a specific character. There is thus a close relationship between the cultivar, origin and the wine itself.

The use of the name of a grape cultivar on a label is authorised in terms of the Wine of Origin Scheme and only the cultivar names listed below may be used.
The name of a grape cultivar may be used if 85% or more of the content of the wine originates from that cultivar. 

Grape cultivars to which the Wine of Origin Scheme applies: 

Alicante Bouschet (Henri Bouschet)
Alvarinho (Albarino)
Auxerrois
Barbarossa
Barbera
Bastardo do Castello
Bastardo do Menudo
Bukettraube
Cabernet franc
Cabernet Sauvignon 
Carmenere
Carignan
Chardonnay
Chenel
Chenin blanc (Steen)
Cinsaut (Cinsault)
Clairette blanche
Colombar (Colombard)
Cornifesto
Crouchen (Riesling*; Cape Riesling; 
Kaapse Riesling)
Donzellinho do Castello
Donzellinho do Gallego
Durif (Petite Sirah)
Emerald Riesling
Erlihane
Fernão Pires
Furmint
Gamay noir
Gewürztraminer
Grachen
Graciano
Grasa de Cotnari
Grenache (Rooi/Red Grenache; Grenache noir)
Grenache blanc (White/Wit Grenache)
Grenache Gris
Grüner Veltliner
Harslevelü 
Irsai Oliver (Irsay Oliver)
Kerner
Kristal
Malbec
Marsanne
Merlot
Meunier (Pinot Meunier)
Morio Muscat (Muscat, Moscato)
Mourisco tinto
Mourvèdre (Mataro, Monastrell, Monastrel)
Müller-Thurgau
Muscat d’ Alexandrie (Hanepoot, Muscat, Moscato)
Muscat de Frontignan (Muscadel; Muskadel, Muscat, Moscato; Muscat blanc; White Muscadel; Wit Mukadel; Muscat Rouge; Red Muscadel; Rooi Muskadel)
Muscat de Hambourg (Muscat, Moscato)
Muscat Ottonel (Muscat, Moscato)
Nebbiolo 
Nero d’Avola
Nouvelle 
Olasz 
Palomino (White French; Fransdruif; Malvasia Rei; Listán blanc; Listón blanco)
Petit Verdot (Verdot)
Pinotage 
Pinot blanc (Weissburgunder)
Pinot gris (Pinot grigio)
Pinot noir 
Pontak (Teinturier male)
Riesling** (Weisser Riesling; Ryn Riesling; Rhine Riesling)
Roobernet
Roussanne
Ruby Cabernet
Sangiovese
Sauvignon blanc (Blanc Fumé; Fumé blanc)
Schönburger
Sémillon (Groendruif)
Shiraz (Syrah)
Souzào
Sultana (Sultanina; Thompson’s Seedless)
Sylvaner 
Tannat 
Tempranillo (Tinta Roriz)
Therona 
Tinta Amarella (Tinta Amarela; Trincadeira; Trincadeira Preta)
Tinta Barocca 
Tinta Francisca 
Touriga Franca 
Touriga Nacional
Ugni blanc (Trebbiano)
Verdelho 
Vermentino
Viognier 
Viura
Weisser Riesling (Rhine Riesling; Ryn Riesling)
Zinfandel (Primitivo)

*This name (Riesling) may only be used for wine produced from the Crouchen grape cultivar until, and inclusive of, the 2009 grape harvest.

**This name (Riesling), may only be used for wine produced from the Weisser Riesling/ Rhine Riesling grape cultivar as from the 2010 grape harvest.

*** Note for information purposes only: The name Muscat de Frontignan is a protected geographical indication in the territory of the European Union and may not be used on South African wine exported to that territory.
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