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The Cape Winelands

  • Michael E. MeadowsEmail author
Chapter
Part of the World Geomorphological Landscapes book series (WGLC)

Abstract

The major wine -producing region of South Africa is located in the south-western part of the country and widely known as the Cape Winelands . The region is geologically characterised by rocks of the Malmesbury, Cape Granite and Table Mountain Group s. Vineyards are located on soils developed under all three of these major geological substrates where slope conditions allow, as well as on the sand and gravel plains of the rivers that drain the region. The most striking geomorphological feature is the contrast between relatively gently rolling plateau country of the Swartland underlain by Malmesbury shales and Cape Granite, and the rugged topography of the Table Mountain Group sandstone-dominated Cape Fold Belt mountains to the east. Combinations of climate, geology, slope and soil factors, coupled with the efforts of the winemakers, give rise to contrasting terroir s in the region which favours the production of different styles, character and quality of wine produced. The winelands represent a suite of cultural landscapes that justify significant conservation efforts both for their historical and natural resource value.

Keywords

Western Cape Vineyards Terroir Geology Soils 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa

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