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

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

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

  • Jam Jar

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

  • Hamilton Russell Vineyards

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

  • Fleur du Cap

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

  • Rupert & Rothschild

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

  • Robertson Winery

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

  • Juno Wines Company

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

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South Africa on Snooth

  • Raats Old Vine Chenin Blanc Stellenbosch 2016

    Snoothrank:

    Pear, green apple and melon aromas are nicely and expressively fruity. This has an initial earthy oak note and releases more fruit flavors of pear, golden berries and lime towards the finish where this turns slightly creamy and cool with a flash of apricot. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Indaba Chenin Blanc Western Cape 2016

    Snoothrank:

    Green apple and lime aromas with a light honeysuckle floral note. This is simple, refreshing and juicy on the palate with lime and melon fruit flavors, a medium-full acidity and a bit of herb on the finish. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Eikeboom Chenin Blanc Western Cape 2016

    Snoothrank:

    Lightly buttered aromas of melon and pear on the nose. A hint of fruit sugar greets the palate with peach and apricot notes, even a touch of pineapple adding some additional fresh fruit flavor before this finishes clean and light with confectioners sugar and green melon.90 pts Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Cederberg Chenin Blanc South Africa 2016

    Snoothrank:

    Tropical fruit notes of banana and melon with a tart mineral note. In the mouth this has a creamy aged cheese note with lemon and grapefruit fruit flavors and zippy acidity coursing through to the finish. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Riebeek Cellars Chenin Blanc 2016

    Snoothrank:

    Honeysuckle, melon and lemon aromas. This has a full and rich texture on the palate which imparts a creaminess, though the flavor profile is quite citrusy and herbal with notes of lime, grapefruit and melon finishing with a grassy butter note and more fresh lemon. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Demorgenzon Reserve Chenin Blanc 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Fresh apricot, apple and soft melon aromas. Buttery and creamy textured on entry, this has a pleasant lemon palate and medium-full body, finishing a bit herbal. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Keermont Vineyards Riverside Chenin Blanc Stellenbosch 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Decadent cream and persimmon aromas with a touch of sea breeze on the nose. Though there is a nice fruit base of apple and melon, this is well oaked, with vanilla cream and oak spice rising through the midpalate towards the finish where it lingers imparting waves of wood spice and toast. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Solms Delta Chenin Blanc South Africa 2016

    Snoothrank:

    Floral and mineral notes on the nose with a lemon and toasted almond blend. This has a bright zest of tangerine juice on the attack but is fairly soft, faintly floral and a bit buttery on the finish with more lemon zest. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Going to a Cabernet Degustation next WednesdayThe Wine line upAustralia ... 91 ... 91 points Vinous NZ and South AfricaDombeya Fenix 2009KLEIN CONSTANTIA ESTATE RED 2014TE MATA ESTATE 'COLERAINE' 2015 96+ Points - Gary Walsh The Wine FrontPURIRI HILLS RESERVE 2008 95 Points - Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine French  Chateau Latour Le Pauillac d... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Aussie Wine in the US


  • Delaire Graff Banghoek Reserve Chardonnay Stellenbosch 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Peach, vanilla, lemon and mineral nose. This has a perfumed floral character in the mouth but the fruit is somewhat muted, resulting in a more austere, mineral driven palate that still comes with a fair bit of smoky vanilla oak toast. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • I'm South African and I live in the us so.... I guess I am a true african-american

    Comment by 540431jojk 540431 jojk


  • I love South Africa, and South African wines!

    Comment by 506765Spier 506765 Spier


  • You can find some of the best wines in South africa. From Chardonnay, Shiraz and Cab Sav to wonderful Noble Late Harvest. When visiting South Africa make sure you visit the Western Cape and look out for Durbanville Hills, Creation, Hamilton Russel and lots more!

    Comment by 495455hetta 495455 hetta


  • New image uploaded to this page.

    Page modification by 33093Chris Carpita 33093 Chris Carpita


  • I went last year, MRGTO, had a superb wine-focused tour. Some photos on flickr if you are interested http://www.flickr.com/photos/scribbler/sets/72157615370219709/

    Comment by 71518winescribbler 71518 winescribbler


  • My wife, I and two friends went to South Africa in Dec.2008 and had a wonderful time. I highly recommend it.

    Comment by 128780mrgto 128780 mrgto


  • South Africa has, without doubt, the most beautiful wine valleys in the world. There are so, so many stunning wines in South Africa, and so many more to taste! My husband and I are huge fans....the country found us. If you are travelling there, take time to get off the beaten path and enjoy the flavors, beautiful views, and clean air of the co...

    Comment by 384611Mosaic Farm 384611 Mosaic Farm


  • Having just joined Snooth I hope the information that gets shared is more accurate than the positioning of South Africa on the Map section. I know Aussies have ideas above their station, but I'm sure not even they would say South Africa would fit neatly into Sydney Harbour. Look forward to "meeting" some kindred spirits.

    Comment by 364639Proteas 364639 Proteas


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