The Darling wine region is located on the west coast of South Africa, north of Cape Town. It belongs to the Western Cape Province and is part of the Coastal wine region. Although the most important branch of agriculture in Darling is the cultivation of dairy and wheat, wine is playing an increasingly important role. In 2003, Darling was officially declared a wine-growing area in its own right; previously, it was part of Swartland. The climate here is cooler than in other South African regions due to its close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean; mornings are often foggy and the Benguela Current that blows up the west coast brings cooling winds in the afternoons. Relatively poor soils consist of decomposed granite and clay; on the hills surrounding the town of Darling, water retention is poor making these slopes ideal for growing grapes. Bush-vine Sauvignon Blanc from Darling, with its crystalline character, is a first-class white wine, there are also old Chenin Blanc bush-vines. In terms of red wines, the most important grape varieties are Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and the uniquely South African grape, Pinotage.
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