South African Wine

 

The history of wine-making in South Africa began as the Dutch East India company established a “refreshment station” at the Cape for trading fleets (a precursor to the truck stop) in 1652. Jan van Riebeeck, the first Cape governor planted the first vineyard in 1655 and others followed with various Dutch immigrants. The Constantia vineyard was first planted by Simon van der Stel and gained some notoriety. But since the Dutch, face it, aren’t really known for their viticultural skills, it wasn’t until the French Huguenots settled in the Cape around the 1680s that more refined wine-making techniques were practiced. 
 
But South African wines still had yet to catch on in the rest of the world. In the 18th century, there was a shortage of proper oak barrels for aging, and terroirs and climates had yet to be matched to the grapes most suited to grow in them. But the British occupation of the Cape finally helped nudge things along in the mid century, since they Read more »

Mentor for South African Wines

Wisequeen Donna Jackson

Passionate wine enthusiast/writer/consultant.Specialist on Italy, where She has made her home and kingdom for the past decade. Travels extensively in Europe and New world,Portugal,Douro, South Africa,and in particular Bordeaux style wines, loves Dolcetto

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Popular wines made in South Africa under $20

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Varietals Produced in South Africa View all

  • Chenin Blanc

    History of the grape: Modern day French oenologist Pierre Galet states Chenin Blanc has been in France at least since...

  • Sauvignon Blanc

    Sauvignon Blanc is widely grown in California -- at over 15,000 acres, it’s now the third most planted variety -- and...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

    “King of the Red Wine Grapes.” The colonizer of the vineyards, pushing native wine grapes into its shadows. The Caber...

  • Syrah

    The irony here is that Syrah’s origins could give Carmen Sandiego a run for her international wallet. Syrah’s deepest...

  • Chardonnay

    British wine writer and critic, Jancis Robinson, once noted that throughout the 80’s and 90’s in the United States, C...

  • Pinotage

    History of the grape: In 1925, Stellenbosch University Chief Horticulture Professor Abraham Izak Perold created the P...

Subregions of South Africa

  • Breede River Valley

      The Breede River Valley is a low altitude, flat wine region in South Africa. Much of it ha...

  • Bot River

  • Coastal Region

      The Coastal Region, within the Western Cape district, is considered the heart of the South...

Popular Wineries in South Africa View all

  • Spier Cellars

    THE SPIER EXPERIENCE Spier is one of the Stellenbosch winelands’ most celebrated destinations. T...

  • Tall Horse

    Tall Horse is a winery in the Western Cape, at the tip of South Africa, named for the nickname ...

  • Juno Wines Company

    The Juno Wine Company - based in the town of Paarl in the heart of South Africa’s winelands - was...

  • Rupert & Rothschild

    At the foot of the spectacular Simonsberg mountain in the Franschhock Valley lies the historic Fr...

  • Obikwa

    A South African Winery specializing in classic South African grape varieties such as Sauvignon ...

  • Meerlust

    Long recognized for producing world-class wines, Meerlust Estate has been the pride of the Myb...

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South Africa on Snooth

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  • Ken Forrester Petit Chenin Blanc 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Binny's 12/2014. Read More

    Wine review by raindance


  • Stellenrust 45 Barrel Fermented Chenin Blanc 2011

    Snoothrank:

    (Past tasting 23 Feb 2013)Like the citrousy yet herby taste - good balance! Read More

    Wine review by Dennis Lim


  • Arabella Shiraz Western Cape South Africa 2014

    Snoothrank:

    A Naked Wines selection - the 2013 was recommended by 'the Reverse Wine Snob'Very, very easy drinking, an everyday, dependable, but not terribly complex Shiraz. Opens with notes and scents of ripe plum and cherry and quickly goes to oak/chocolate/mocha/leather - seemed almost a big Pinot Noir rather than a Shiraz, but there is enough spice and p... Read More

    Wine review by puhnner


  • Reyneke Cornerstone 2011

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by martins2002


  • Papillon Sweet Sparkling Wine Van Loveren South Afrika NV

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by martins2002


  • Klein Constantia Vin de Constance Dessert Wine 2006

    Snoothrank:

    A beautiful desert wine like few others, although also goes very well as an after dinner wine by itself. Full of flavors. Sadly very hard to find here in the US. Read More

    Wine review by acakeandwine


  • Linton Park Café South Africa Cabernet 2012

    Snoothrank:

    A Lot 18 Selection. Here are the notes from the Lot 18 site - seem pretty accurate to me: 'Aged in French and American oak for 12 months, this wine shows coffee, dark chocolate and truffle flavor components that complement the black currant, berry and plum fruit notes.' Dry, with a not unpleasant slightly bitter mesquite smoke taste. Smooth and ... Read More

    Wine review by puhnner


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  • Boukenhootskloof Porcupine Ridge Syrah 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Bright, effusive even on the nose with sweetly candied violet and sour plum aromas along with gamy hints of leather and a suggestion of ginger and spicy mushroom. A touch low in acid in the mouth, this is a little rough around the edges with fresh tannins adding some textural detail. the flavors are a touch cooked with jammy black cherry notes ... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz


  • Sirs, May you introduce me to a company that exports South African wines? My e-mail address is scmsprl@yahoo.fr Thanks, Constant Bopima M. Bokoto

    Comment by 1111044Bob Moelo 1111044 Bob Moelo


  • I am a South African, Capetonian, from Somerset West, right in the heart of the wine region. My heart misses home every day, but thankfully, being able to enjoy South African wine, especially reds, where one can taste South Africa in the terroir, helps me get through each day.

    Comment by 750105nikkibean 750105 nikkibean


  • "Late Harvest" was my favourite wine in the mid 80's when I lived in Zimbabwe, now I'd like to explore the South African reds and introduce them to my corporate wine events in the Silicone Valley. Peter M -Clubspot Bev (San Jose, Calif)

    Comment by 695810pmugwagwa 695810 pmugwagwa


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