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...

  • 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...

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 ...

  • Obikwa

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

  • Hamilton Russell Vineyards

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

  • Goats Do Roam Wine Company

    Goats do Roam is a South African wine company, based in the Paarl region of the Cape winelands...

  • Meerlust

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

  • Rupert & Rothschild

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

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South Africa on Snooth

  • False Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2012


    just tasted grapes... nothing too special... Read More

    Wine review by Dennis Lim

  • Simunye South African White Blend 2007


    Horrible! Read More

    Wine review by jewels08

  • Allesverloren Fine Old Vintage 2009


    No written review

    Wine review by jxsummer

  • Can't say a lot other than the wines are a lot better now than they were ten years ago. I've never been so don't know firsthand what's good, but I used to go to the S. Africa wine tastings on occasion and was able to taste through a lot of them over the years. It's been a while but off the top Sadie amily makes some really good wine, as does the... Read More

    Forum post in the topic South Africa must try wines

  • Café,My buddy I drink wine with has been to South Africa and he said the best South Africa stuff seldom gets to North America.  I'll talk to him this evening and see if I can give you any must see wineries. Read More

    Forum post in the topic South Africa must try wines

  • 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


    No written review

    Wine review by alex7ktrc

  • Du Toitskloof Sauvignon Blanc Western Cape 2013


    No written review

    Wine review by mark

  • Spier Merlot Pvt Collection 2002


    nice Read More

    Wine review by SCM42

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South African wine ratings and reviews

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