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The only other southern African country to make wines of any note is the Republic of Zimbabwe.

Viticulture began in Zimbabwe when table grapes were planted in the 1940s. Twenty?five years later, wine grapes were planted, and commercial production reached its zenith in the early 1980s with 100 fan?ners supplying the wine industry. In recent years wines were withdrawn from export markets, but the export ban is due to be lifted. Today, almost 600ha (1,480 acres) are under cultivation but only three companies make wine.

The climate is not really suited to viticulture. Very mild winters and hot summers do not help the vine produce good?quality fruit. Irrigation is essential, as is a programme to control the numerous pests. The soils are of poor quality and some of the plants, which were imported from South Africa, were virus?infected or from low?quality vines. With hard
work, optimism and ingenuity, and the aid of modern technology, even these problems have been overcome. Zimbabwe produces over 22,000 cases of still and sparkling wine annually. The main grape varieties are Cabernet
Sauvignon, Cinsaut and Pinotage for red wines, Colombar(d), Steen (Chenin Blanc), Clairette Blanche and
Hanepoot (Muscat of Alexandria) for white.

In the early 1990s Zimbabwean wines have had success in international wine competitions, which attests to the potential of this young industry although, in reality, the quality is adequate rather than good.

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