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Regions closer to the coast, or in the rain shadow of inland mountain chains like the Drakenstein, Hottentots Holland and Langeberg, will have more rain than areas further inland.

For much of the 20th century, the South African wine industry received minimal international attention.

Its isolation was exacerbated by the boycotts of South African products in protest against the country's system of Apartheid.

These regions have a mostly Mediterranean climate that is marked by intense sunlight and dry heat.

Winters tend to be cold and wet with potential snowfall at higher elevations.

The threat of springtime frost is rare with most wine regions seeing a warm growing season between November and April.

The majority of annual precipitation occurs in the winter months and ranges from 250 millimetres (9.84 in) in the semi-desert-like region of Klein Karoo to 1,500 millimetres (59.06 in) near the Worcester Mountains.

This was intended to ward off scurvy amongst sailors during their voyages along the spice route to India and the East.