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

  • 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...

  • Sauvignon Blanc

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

  • Syrah

    The irony here is that Syrah’s origins could give Carmen Sandiego a run for her international wallet. Syrah’s deepest...

  • 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...

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 ...

  • Jam Jar

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

  • Neil Ellis Wines

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

  • 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...

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South Africa on Snooth

  • Welcome to the Snooth Forum, Cafe.  Sadly, I do not have any advice for ... ... nonzero) experience with South African wines, I plead ignorance.  However, I do hope that you return here after your trip and give us a report.&nbs Read More

    Forum post in the topic South Africa must try wines


  • Hello All,I'm off for a first ever trip to South Africa, spending next Monday and Tuesday (2nd & 3rd) touring wineries from a base in Wellington (we are going to Mullineaux, but couldn't get into see Eben Sadie as no visitors are allowed during harvest, which is a shame, but understandable. We then move on to Cape Town for six days.cà phê linh c... Read More

    Forum post in the topic South Africa must try wines


  • Excelsior Syrah 2011

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by alex7ktrc


  • Du Toitskloof Sauvignon Blanc Western Cape 2013

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by mark


  • Spier Merlot Pvt Collection 2002

    Snoothrank:

    nice Read More

    Wine review by SCM42


  • Stony Brook Red Blend Franschhoek Valley Ghost Gum 2002

    Snoothrank:

    This was the last bottle of wine that we brought back from South Africa with us years ago. It was a nice bottle but I do not think that it benefited from cellaring as much as I expected. Read More

    Wine review by anstett


  • Good points.BTW - that Morgon by JP Brun is a really good place to start. Good ... ... Italy, Spain, Germany, South Africa, Uruguay, Argentina, Austria, many states in the US and well, the rest of the world.You're starting well. Keep it up.And you can find tasting descriptions here and there - you can take courses for the WSET or some sommeli... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Wine description terms


  • Reyneke Sauvignon Blanc Reserve 2011

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by martins2002


  • Sgmv 2012

    Snoothrank:

    My 1st experience with Ridgeback Wine was a winner. Read More

    Wine review by byrnesey


  • The 85% rule for Champagne vintage dating brought up the question in my mind ... and New Zealand -- 85% South Africa, Chile -- 75%Of course, the exception for the AVA-designated wines in the US led me to the question of the minimum AVA content for an AVA-designated, wine and the answer to that is 85%.   Everything below is tongue in cheek.  In... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Year Label?


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