South Africa is one of the most prominent wine-producing countries in the Southern Hemisphere. With more than 300 years of winemaking history, it is now the ninth-largest producer of wine in the world, with some 250,000 acres under vine. The wine tasting trip to Stellenbosch provided the perfect introduction to the South African wine industry.

I was surprised that the country has such a developed system to effectively market the local wines to international markets. The South African wine industry has created Wines of South Africa (WOSA) to raise international awareness for South African wines. This organization plays an important role in promoting the exportation of South African wines in international markets. Besides marketing the products through such an international organization, many wine sellers also market their wines directly overseas through internet blogs.

Innovation is a strong factor that continues to grow wine businesses in South Africa. Historically, Pinotage was created by combining the best qualities of the robust Hermitage with Pinot noir. Since then, Pinotage has led the growth of the South African wine industry. The innovative efforts of the South African wine producers have increased rapidly over the past decade. Because of greater exposure to international buyers and the efforts of WOSA, the Agricultural Research Council has been set up and cooperates with wine sellers to create innovations in the wine industry.

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