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

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

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

  • 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...

  • Boland Kelder

    Situated in the picturesque Paarl Valley, Boland Cellar has much to boast about. Nominated as one...

  • Robertson Winery

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

  • 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

  • Vino V. - I enjoy the Ken Forrester Petite Chenin - light and fruity - great ... ... is good also both from South Africa.  Have ever tried a good Alb(v)arino from Spain - those can be wonderful also.  Pa Read More

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


  • De Wetshof "Limestone Hill Unoaked" Chardonnay Robertson 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Though I'm not a true "un-oaked" chard lover - I do like good wine and this is good wine. It comes straight at with green apples leading way, Orchard blossom, wet stone minerals and citrus fruit solidly back this up - if it had a longer this would be an 89/90. Drink now - it's worth it. Paul 89 points Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


  • I like wine from South Africa. If any of you need help with bad reputation on Google im your guy. Form more info visit my website http://adamwiberg.se/rykteshantering/ Read More

    Forum post in the topic Hello form Moldova!


  • Southern Right Pilotage 2014

    Snoothrank:

    This is the 2014 Hemel-En-Barde valley I found this wine to be smooth with dark fruit flavored. Nothing overpowering and finish was smooth and tasty.I would buy again for under $20 Read More

    Wine review by ted5


  • Seven Sisters Pinotage Shiraz 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Made by a group of sisters of color from South Africa this wine was one of the first made by black South Africans to be marketed in the US by a African American female. Great example of the native Pinotage varietal. Bold and flavorful. Great with meat. Read More

    Wine review by sbr1105


  • I opened this 2014 Burl Pinotage from Western Cape, South Africa last night upon returning home.  Small glass to end the night with and it was ok, but nothing special.  I have yet to really enjoy a South African wine, but then again, I haven't paid much for one yet either.  Has anyone tried a good South African wine they would recommend (red or ... Read More

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


  • Tormentoso Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Binny's 3/2016. Read More

    Wine review by raindance


  • A tasty Zinfandel is always welcome in our house.  We recently enjoyed a ... ... I tried a red blend from South Africa and Sandra enjoyed the Malbec-Syrah blend from Mendoza.  Following dinner we walked over to the Phillips Museum to hear Sayaka Shoji perform on the violin with piano accompaniment by Ryo Yanagitani.  Wonderful performance - al... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekday Wines


  • Flagstone Writer's Block Pinotage 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Juicy with lots of flavour Read More

    Wine review by Yello5


  • Pearly Bay Celebration Sparkling NV

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by mootz


  • 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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