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...

  • 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...

  • 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

  • Meerlust

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

  • Boland Kelder

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

  • Juno Wines Company

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

  • Obikwa

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

  • Nederburg

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

  • Fleur du Cap

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

Page 272 of 326

South Africa on Snooth

  • For this week's Wine and Music pairing, I have included two Chilean products that go fantastically together and truly demonstrate the potency of regional pairing. Chile is also the home of Aurelio Montes, owner of Vina Montes  who plays monastic chants to his wines, and who commissioned the recently published Heriot Watt study  which proves that... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Chilean Charm

  • Delheim Cabernet Sauvignon Simonsberg-Stellenbosch 2003


    Nice wine, dark fruit on the nose and a nice cassis flavor; smooth tannis. I really enjoy this wine. Read More

    Wine review by weavin42

  • Excelsior Chardonnay 2007


    No written review

    Wine review by Tibor

  • Sebeka Shiraz 2006


    No written review

    Wine review by GregBurnison

  • Graham Beck Brut Rose Methode Cap Classique 2005


    Brutal reviews all round... Part of a 6 wine blind tasting, this fared the worst...High acidity is the best thing I can say about it. The nose was of blue cheese and it was so funky I claimed it was corked or some other fault, however, sadly we came to the conclusion that it might just be past its prime. Shame. Read More

    Wine review by Philip

  • Graham Beck Brut Rose Methode Cap Classique 2005


    Orange, peachy color, not bad on the eyes. The taste, on the other I supposed to drink it or kill cockroaches with it? Read More

    Wine review by Chris Carpita

  • Tukulu Pinotage Groenekloof 1999


    Perfect to drink right now (Oct 2008). Give it a good 10 to 15 minutes to breathe. Incredible flavour with a soft and delicate finish. Read More

    Wine review by Tafel

  • Two Oceans Chardonnay Blend Sémillon Chardonnay 2006


    smooth wine, great colour and smooth finish make this wine suitable for all occasions Read More

    Wine review by Hanzi

  • Man Vintners Cabernet Sauvignon 2006


    No written review

    Wine review by saxhaus4

  • Scali Syrah 2003


    No written review

    Wine review by brent5

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