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For those who are fans of the vine, visiting vineyards both locally and abroad is a dream come true. FlightHub Review understands that trips to California, Europe and Australia is on every wine connoisseurs’ list, but what you may not be so well acquainted with is the emerging wine scene happening on the Eastern Coast of Africa. As South Africa’s 350-year-long wine dominance wanes, FlightHub believes that the next great grape is only a few countries away.
When most people think of African wines, they most often conclude that South Africa is the only exporter of wine from the continent. From Bellingham the Bernard Series, to Fleur du Cap Shiraz, all of these wines are—within their own right—a wonderful way to taste all that South Africa has to offer. Though the South African wine scene has dominated this market for years, there’s more to African wine than just the southern vineyards. FlightHub is looking to the eastern parts of the giant continent for new and exciting tastes. This is only the beginning of a new era for wine lovers.
Bushman Rock, Zimbabwe
Though grapes were initially brought over during the 19th century to Zimbabwe, the undertaking of growing and cultivating vineyards wasn’t commercialized until the mid-twentieth century. Due to economic and political shifts throughout the 1960’s, the country and its farmers needed to diversify itself. As a result, the vineyards began taking root—and thriving—in four major areas of the country: the Eastern Districts, Hippo Valley, Marandellas and the Mazoe Valley. FlightHub recommends visiting the Bushman Rock Safari and Vineyard and to get a taste (and feel) for Zimbabwe’s wine culture. With diverse activities ranging from wine tasting to finishing, or rock climbing, we encourage you to eat and play in one of Zimbabwe’s finest vineyards.
Dodoma Wines, Tanzania
Despite its Muslim minority groups, Tanzania (with the exception of Zanzibar) is home to one of the leading suppliers and exporters of wine in East Africa. The Dodoma Region, located just outside the capitol of Tanzania, is a thriving region where wine grapes and production are growing rapidly, and creating a name for itself on the international wine circuit. In 2013, the Dodoma wine was ranked among the top 5 African wines on the continent, rivaling South Africa. FlightHub recommends visiting the home of the most successful vineyards in Tanzania. Today, three top companies make up the country’s wine region: Tanzania Distilleries, Dodoma Wines and Cetawico Tanganyika Vineyards. They produce dry whites, reds and some sweet wines.
Rift Valley Winery, Kenya
The Rift Valley is known as a continuous geographical trench that measures approximately 6,000 km and runs from the Middle East to Mozambique in South Eastern Africa. The Rift may not seem like it would have optimal grape-growing conditions, but due to its strategic position, it does. With Kenya’s geographical position at a higher altitude, the country is home to warm, tropical weather during the day and cooler nights, which makes for the perfect climate to grow wine grapes in Kenya. FlightHub recommends wine connoisseurs appreciate the Leleshwa wines grown in the region. The vineyard produces Sauvignon Blanc, a Merlot-Shiraz, as well as Rose and Cabernet Sauvignon, plus it is well-known for its natural beauty. Come for the wine and stay for the view!
This year, when you’re considering what wine regions to visit, don’t overlook the up-and-coming East Africa wine regions. You might just find a unique and incredible experience you never knew was out there.
Laura Lynch, creator and writer of Savored Journeys, is an avid world traveler, certified wine expert, and international food specialist. She has written about travel and food for over 20 years and has visited 70+ countries.