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

Mary John Baumann, DWS

Accredited wine expert with advanced wine education, sales and lecturing talent. Creative marketer with demonstrated success in global marketing and development of leading multinational luxury brands.

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Popular wines made in South Africa under $20

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Varietals Produced in South Africa View all

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

  • Sauvignon Blanc

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

  • Chardonnay

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

  • Syrah

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

  • Pinotage

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

  • Chenin Blanc

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

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...

  • Nederburg

    Nederburg is South Africa's favourite name in wine, loved for a delicious combination of fruit an...

  • Hamilton Russell Vineyards

    Hamilton Russell Vineyards is one of the most southerly wine Estates in Africa and one of the clo...

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South Africa on Snooth

  • And a little night cap back at the hotel bar. Have thought South Africa deserves more exploration, and is much better represented on store shelves over here in Amsterdam.Very decent Sauv Blanc, thoughbI hope to make the next stop at Dagenau. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • Mullineux Family Wines Kloof Street Swartland Rouge 2009

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by CageyT


  • Continue the research. May be some dark horses from areas that are ordinarily ... LaLas.I'd also consider South Africa. If you're willing to spring for that Unico's tariff, then might as well get a Klein Constancia Vin de Constance. That will certainly be memorable. Plenty of reds from the likes of Meerlust, Vergelegen, Rustenberg and Rust en ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Need Help


  • The Oak Valley Blend Elgin 2011

    Snoothrank:

    intense cherry fruits with coffee hints and some spices, structured and complex Read More

    Wine review by Dennis Lim


  • Meerestein Swartland South Africa Chenin Blanc 2016

    Snoothrank:

    very wonderful homey, ancient, placate able & tender to the palate. Read More

    Wine review by Pickit4flavor


  • Mullineux White Blend 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Lightly oaked and lightly floral aromas of white blossom, white peach, green apple and lemon. With a touch of sweet fruit on the approach, this settles into an oaky, herbal and citrus noted blend of lemon, tangerine, honeyed melon and green apple with a wooded finish and tart acidity throughout.90 pts Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Kanu White Blend Kia-Ora Noble Late Harvest 2006

    Snoothrank:

    sweet, yet refreshing enough Read More

    Wine review by Dennis Lim


  • Time to give this thread another kickstart.I posted way back on having a bottle ... not even if it's from South Africa?  Maybe but still not that unique. Well how about if these two bottles were actually purchased in Africa by an old college buddy and brought back here for the two of us to do a side by side?  Now that's something you don't get ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic And now for something...


  • Good dry Brut (not the off dry version I had tonight) Champagne first choice. ... whether from Savennieres or South Africa. In Oz and SE Asia have found a number of Aussie and Kiwi chards and dry semillons (and sparklings) to work. Sake works just fine, too.Plenty of other options, I'm sure, but these are what I've consumed the most with the b... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Oysters


  • Arabella Reserve Chardonnay 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Another recent Naked Wines selection. Clear Silver Gold in the glass. Opens with a lemon vanilla with a bit of underripe Cherry; then a buttery yeast, then more vanilla oak and lemon. Nice bit of acid with lemon and lemon grass, slate and mineral. As it sits still remains crisp, but loses some of the lemon and takes on more vanilla oak. Nicely b... Read More

    Wine review by puhnner


  • 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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