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...

  • 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...

  • Sauvignon Blanc

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

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...

  • Nederburg

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

  • Obikwa

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

  • 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 ...

  • Meerlust

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

Page 297 of 306

South Africa on Snooth

  • Guardian Peak Shiraz Stellenbosch 2004


    No written review

    Wine review by KevinD

  • Brampton Rose 2006


    Dry rose. Read More

    Wine review by eliane

  • Hamilton Russell Chardonnay Walker Bay 2005


    No written review

    Wine review by LizzieOC

  • Kwv Red Blend Roodeberg 2003


    Great wine. Nice strong body. Full flavour Read More

    Wine review by Methuselah5

  • Boekenhoutskloof Red Rhone Blend the Wolftrap 2002


    No written review

    Wine review by PattiD

  • Man Vintners Pinotage Western Cape 2005


    No written review

    Wine review by PattiD

  • Umkhulu Pinotage 'The Big One' 2002


    This wine has a somewhat hot nose accompanied by a fruity aroma. This is followed by a strong full-bodied flavor in the mouth marked by the taste of fruit - the plum is especially noticable. The strong sensation of tannins reduces the balance of this wine somewhat, and despite being also slightly on the dry side of my usual scale of preference, ... Read More

    Wine review by h2o1

  • Umkhulu Pinotage 'The Big One' 2002


    Powerful molasses and earth nose. Attack is very light -- I found that the real taste (leathery and dry) didn't begin to show until the wine was completely saturating my mouth. There's a lot going on here. Somewhat hot but in a pleasant way. I think within a year or two it will be even better to drink.The eucalyptus sticks around for a long time... Read More

    Wine review by mark

  • Umkhulu Pinotage 'The Big One' 2002


    To start off with, this blend of pinot and cinsault is decidedly a rather ... ... ... Plenty of the mint that South African wines are famous for on the nose, along with some bananna walnut bread. On the attack -- which is very smooth -- is some more of the mint, and a bit of spice. The midpalate tastes of plums and the wine finishes off with ... Read More

    Wine review by kabir

  • Umkhulu Pinotage 'The Big One' 2002


    Intriguing nose of plums, eucalyptus and oak. In the mouth an attack of surprisingly strong tannins, but its counterbalanced by minty notes, fruit and vanilla from the oak. A slightly barnyard and mineral finish. Good. Read More

    Wine review by Philip

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