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

  • 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...

  • 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...

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

  • Neil Ellis Wines

    Neil Ellis Wines differs from most South African wineries in that instead of owning vineyards we ...

  • 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...

  • Spier Cellars

    THE SPIER EXPERIENCE Spier is one of the Stellenbosch winelands’ most celebrated destinations. T...

  • Hamilton Russell Vineyards

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

  • Tall Horse

    Tall Horse is a winery in the Western Cape, at the tip of South Africa, named for the nickname ...

Page 301 of 330

South Africa on Snooth

  • Le Riche Cabernet Sauvignon Stellenbosch Reserve 2001


    Nose has nice eucalyptus hints. This is probably the correct time to be ... ... heavier Cabernet coming from South Africa. Still, I like it and would drink agai Read More

    Wine review by mark

  • Excelsior Shiraz Paddock 2005


    A Red, White and Bubbly "Best Buy" Jan '08 Read More

    Wine review by scooter12

  • Swartland Pinotage 2007


    A Red, White, and Bubbly "Best Buy," Jan '08 Read More

    Wine review by scooter12

  • Drakenskloof Colombard Kelder Reserve 2005


    Quite sweet on the tongue with peach and melon but not enough to make me want to drink more than one glass. Read More

    Wine review by colinrchorley

  • Fairview Estate Goats Do Roam South Africa 2003


    Definitely good value for money among new world wines, if I may use that term. 85% Shiraz, 12% Mourvedre, 3% Viognier makes a nice medium bodied wine that is slightly spicy with notes of toast and coffee. While I found the structure and the body somewhat wanting I will remember it rather as an easy drinking wine. We had it maybe 3 hours after op... Read More

    Wine review by gabor

  • Cathedral Cellar Shiraz 2006


    A very pleasant first experience for me in South African reds, and an excellent price-pleasure ratio Read More

    Wine review by alex dube

  • Jordan Winery Jardin Chardonnay 2001


    No written review

    Wine review by Sovereign89

  • Goats Do Roam Rose Red Blend 2005


    No written review

    Wine review by robholowka

  • Darling Cellars Shiraz 2007


    Shiraz is one of South Africa's primary varietals, and this wine is a nice example of their style. Full and rich without a hint of jamminess. Nice fine tannin for structure and mouthfeel. Amazing with pulled pork, will work well with anything off the grill. Read More

    Wine review by VinoChica

  • De Toren Red Bordeaux Blend Stellenbosch Z 2004


    Wow. Absolutely delicious. Drinks like a wine 3x its price. Floral, tobacco and blueberry nose. Candied plum, spices and blueberry on the palate. Some sweetness, but not overdone. Nice long finish with fine tannins. Drinking wonderfully right now with a couple of hours in the decanter. A heady wine that walks the line between old and new world s... Read More

    Wine review by streamertyer

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