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Years ago this week that wine was first made in South Africa. On February 2, 1659, Jan van Riebeeck, the colonial administrator of the Dutch Cape Colony on South Africa’s Western Cape, recorded in his journal: “Today, God be praised, wine was pressed for the first time from Cape grapes.” The grapes were probably Chenin Blanc, Semillon, and/or Muscat of Alexandria the cuttings for which, at Riebeeck’s request, had been sent from France.

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