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...

  • 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...

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 ...

  • Rupert & Rothschild

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

  • Tall Horse

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

  • Goats Do Roam Wine Company

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

  • Jam Jar

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

  • Nederburg

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

Page 6 of 327

South Africa on Snooth

  • Val du Charron Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Meijer Dec. '15. Not bad for a supermarket Cabernet Sauvignon. It was the only non-California Cab in the house. Anybody who follows this wino knows I don't buy many bottles over $20, but most Michigan supermarkets, and this a broad brush I am painting with, do not understand or do not know where to go to find wine value. Mostly overpriced domest... Read More

    Wine review by raindance


  • Arabella Cabernet Sauvignon Robertson 2014

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by LetUsTaste


  • Nederburg Pinotage 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Deep ruby red coloration and very clear....slight violet hues around the rim. Aromas include tons of ripe fruit/berries, subtle spice and tinges of alcohol, but overall this is smooth. Flavors follow suit with very forward robust cherry, dark plum, and agreeably with the wine maker, banana...perhaps some vanilla bean and chocolate hidden in th... Read More

    Wine review by chriscage


  • Appropos of DM's comment:"Chenin is still king in South Africa, although around 40% of vineyards were replanted in recent years and there is a notable shift from 80 percent white grapes to a split that is nearly 50/50 red and white.The top five grape varieties in South Africa are Chenin Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Colombard, Shiraz and Sauvignon ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic And now for something...


  • Stormhoek Sauvignon Blanc Western Cape 2006

    Snoothrank:

    Got this '06 South African Sauv Blanc in a package bid at a charity event. Not bad, just not very good either. A bit flat and one dimensional with a fairly muted nose. The flavors that come out are not what I'd expect from any SB, no grapefruit, no lemon, just some dried pineapple, candy corn and a hit of white pepper on the back end. There's st... Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0


  • Klein Constantia Estate Red 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Had this with dinner at Mercat Bistro.Well balanced medium body blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot & Malbec, Smooth with the earthiness and spice of the Malbec. Nice value. Read More

    Wine review by puhnner


  • DM - as you know, it's originally from Spain in Aragon. It was the most widely planted red variety in the world just a few years ago and may still be. It was also the most planted red grape in Spain, which still has like twice as much as anywhere else in the world. Relatively speaking they have even more Monastrell, but that's a different story.... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Garnacha, grenache--tomato,...


  • Groot Constantia Shiraz 2003

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by MRSBCO


  • I would have served a Burgundy with venison but who am I to criticise Her ... ... ... is a sweet Muscat from South Africa that probably came out with the chocolate deser Read More

    Forum post in the topic Xi Jinping State Banquet


  • Arabella Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by anstett


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