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

  • Pinotage

    History of the grape: In 1925, Stellenbosch University Chief Horticulture Professor Abraham Izak Perold created the P...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

  • 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...

  • 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...

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

  • Meerlust

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

  • Obikwa

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

  • Fleur du Cap

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

  • Boland Kelder

    Situated in the picturesque Paarl Valley, Boland Cellar has much to boast about. Nominated as one...

  • 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 ...

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South Africa on Snooth

  • The Beach House Red Blend 2013


    Fruit forward and with hints of spice, this is a fresh take on what I would consider to be a rich, deep red. The coloration is dark red/burgundy with purple hues. Aromas and flavors that border in between dark berry/cherry, blackberry, blueberry and boysenberry, along with subtle hints of pepper to just hit the nostrils and palate with some ze... Read More

    Wine review by chriscage

  • Had the good fortune to attend a Masters of Wine, Syrah Panel Tasting on ... ... with the Gramercy was from South Africa and while a solid showing, kind of forgettable, though I noticed there was a buyer there who was very taken with it. 2013 Kershaw Clonal Selection Elgin - Aiming for subtle, precise style. One of the cooler areas in South Af... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Masters of Wine - Syrah Panel...

  • Cederberg Cabernet Sauvignon 2012


    Had at Noah's Read More

    Wine review by gmb468

  • Waterkloof Chenin Blanc Stellenbosch 2014


    Pleasant minerality with light notes of lemon and peach on the nose. A bit more green apple and pear coming through on the palate and some toasted almond towards the finish. There's a warm sweet spice coming through the fullness of the palate here and ending with some baked apple and honeysuckle. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial

  • Indaba Sauvignon Blanc 2015


    Binny's 5/2016. Read More

    Wine review by raindance

  • Mulderbosch Chenin Blanc 2015


    Binny's 5/2016. 6 vintages later and this is still an excellent value. Mary consumed most of this bottle over three evening dinners. I helped on the second night, and thought it was real tasty. What? You wanted me to tell you it had hints of a two day old apricot pit on the nose? I didn't think so. Read More

    Wine review by raindance

  • Tormentoso Old Vine Chenin Blanc Paarl 2014


    Binny's 5/2016. Started off with what Mary thought, after sip #1, was a sweet white. Not so, I sipped it and disagreed, she backed off and said it was the nose that confused her. She ended up saying it was fine. I am sure because she consumed it while looking at an awesome view of The Great Smokey Mountains from the deck of our rented cabin. Read More

    Wine review by raindance

  • De Wetshof "Limestone Hill Unoaked" Chardonnay Robertson 2015


    Though I'm not a true "un-oaked" chard lover - I do like good wine and this is good wine. It comes straight at with green apples leading way, Orchard blossom, wet stone minerals and citrus fruit solidly back this up - if it had a longer this would be an 89/90. Drink now - it's worth it. Paul 89 points Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951

  • I like wine from South Africa. If any of you need help with bad reputation on Google im your guy. Form more info visit my website Read More

    Forum post in the topic Hello form Moldova!

  • Southern Right Pilotage 2014


    This is the 2014 Hemel-En-Barde valley I found this wine to be smooth with dark fruit flavored. Nothing overpowering and finish was smooth and tasty.I would buy again for under $20 Read More

    Wine review by ted5

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