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

  • 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...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

    “King of the Red Wine Grapes.” The colonizer of the vineyards, pushing native wine grapes into its shadows. The Caber...

  • 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

  • Spier Cellars

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

  • Fleur du Cap

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

  • Neil Ellis Wines

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

  • 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...

  • Robertson Winery

    Our winery has a long-standing tradition of dedicated grape-growing families, some of whom are 4t...

Page 5 of 328

South Africa on Snooth

  • Your notes are no surprise, judging by the labels. Sounds like a great wedding, ... for sauvignon blanc, then South Africa--*then* North & South Island New Zealand. Will be interested in hearing your comments on Dog Point, Cloudy Bay and others then.  ;-)  I'm much happier with some of the pinot noir from down there than any of the S Read More

    Forum post in the topic Wedding Wines in Palm Springs


  • Creation Pinot Noir 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Quite floral on the nose with rose petal, ripe red cherry and some licorice. Soft up front and turning a little herbal towards the finish, with flavors of ripe berry and cherry, some watermelon and finishing with a slight cranberry note. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Ken Forrester Chenin Blanc Reserve Old Vine 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Fruit on the nose. Melon, white peaches and mineral comes through on the palate. The oak is noticeable but delicate on the finish accompanied by tart citrus notes. This is a beautiful wine that pairs well with savory dishes. Read More

    Wine review by ThirstyWineWriter


  • Ken Forrester Renegade Stellenbosch 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Pleasant tarry minerality with blackberry and bramble fruit notes and some dusty earth on the nose. A bit thin on entry but filling in through the mid palate with strong notes of blackberry and black currant, chewy tannins and a hint of coffee on the finish. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • De Wetshof Limestone Hill Chardonnay Robertson 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Delicate melon and lemon aromas are lightly floral. Zesty and lightly citrussed in the mouth with a lot of spice and some aged cheese cream coming in through the mid palate, a generous wine with good complexity and a buoyant mouthfeel, equal parts thick and spicy and a creamy finish. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Saltare Brut Reserve Swartland NV

    Snoothrank:

    A floral touch on honey on the nose with some green apple. Austere and sharp in the mouth, quite dry with good salinity and a soft toast on the finish. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Noble Hill Estate Blend Simonsberg-Paarl 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Light red fruit on the nose. Showing some cooked yet fresh red fruit, raspberry and red currant. Quite delicate in the mouth but does supply some supple texture towards the finish which is zesty and chewy, with some licorice and cherry notes bubbling up. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Fox, the Schram Mirabelle is up there with the worst wines I've tasted! ... Neil Ellis Sauv Blanc from South Africa, clocking in at $13, and about the same price for a really interesting Spanish Garnacha.For this one, it looks like there's going to be about 140 people or so.Bubbles: 2012 Schramsberg BdB (2 cases)Dry White: 2014 Dog Point Sauv ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic California Sparkling Matchup


  • Fable Mountain Vineyards Syrah Tulbagh 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Ripe red fruit coming in on the nose with a wave of some powdered sugar and licorice notes, clay and earth. Full bodied and full of ripe red cherry and mixed berry with excellent spice and notes of cranberry. There's a fair bit of spice here and a toasted nutty creamy note towards the finish. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Rustenberg John X Merriman Simonsberg-Stellenbosch 2011

    Snoothrank:

    A bit of heat and bright red fruit coming on the nose. Classic Bordeaux blend comes with full acidity and chewy tannins. On the fruitier side of things and definitely full in the glass, but still touching on an herbal note towards the finish. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


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