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

  • Pinotage

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

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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

  • Juno Wines Company

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

  • Robertson Winery

    Our winery has a long-standing tradition of dedicated grape-growing families, some of whom are 4t...

  • Goats Do Roam Wine Company

    Goats do Roam is a South African wine company, based in the Paarl region of the Cape winelands...

  • Obikwa

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

  • Fleur du Cap

    Fleur du Cap - one of South Africa's premier and best-known wines — is one of the flagships of th...

  • Jam Jar

    Jam Jar was born out of the realization that there are not a lot of options available to consu...

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South Africa on Snooth

  • Can't say a lot other than the wines are a lot better now than they were ten years ago. I've never been so don't know firsthand what's good, but I used to go to the S. Africa wine tastings on occasion and was able to taste through a lot of them over the years. It's been a while but off the top Sadie amily makes some really good wine, as does the... Read More

    Forum post in the topic South Africa must try wines


  • Café,My buddy I drink wine with has been to South Africa and he said the best South Africa stuff seldom gets to North America.  I'll talk to him this evening and see if I can give you any must see wineries. Read More

    Forum post in the topic South Africa must try wines


  • Welcome to the Snooth Forum, Cafe.  Sadly, I do not have any advice for ... ... nonzero) experience with South African wines, I plead ignorance.  However, I do hope that you return here after your trip and give us a report.&nbs Read More

    Forum post in the topic South Africa must try wines


  • Hello All,I'm off for a first ever trip to South Africa, spending next Monday and Tuesday (2nd & 3rd) touring wineries from a base in Wellington (we are going to Mullineaux, but couldn't get into see Eben Sadie as no visitors are allowed during harvest, which is a shame, but understandable. We then move on to Cape Town for six days.cà phê linh c... Read More

    Forum post in the topic South Africa must try wines


  • Spier Merlot Pvt Collection 2002

    Snoothrank:

    nice Read More

    Wine review by SCM42


  • Stony Brook Red Blend Franschhoek Valley Ghost Gum 2002

    Snoothrank:

    This was the last bottle of wine that we brought back from South Africa with us years ago. It was a nice bottle but I do not think that it benefited from cellaring as much as I expected. Read More

    Wine review by anstett


  • Good points.BTW - that Morgon by JP Brun is a really good place to start. Good ... ... Italy, Spain, Germany, South Africa, Uruguay, Argentina, Austria, many states in the US and well, the rest of the world.You're starting well. Keep it up.And you can find tasting descriptions here and there - you can take courses for the WSET or some sommeli... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Wine description terms


  • Reyneke Sauvignon Blanc Reserve 2011

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by martins2002


  • Sgmv 2012

    Snoothrank:

    My 1st experience with Ridgeback Wine was a winner. Read More

    Wine review by byrnesey


  • The 85% rule for Champagne vintage dating brought up the question in my mind ... and New Zealand -- 85% South Africa, Chile -- 75%Of course, the exception for the AVA-designated wines in the US led me to the question of the minimum AVA content for an AVA-designated, wine and the answer to that is 85%.   Everything below is tongue in cheek.  In... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Year Label?


  • 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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