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 ...

  • Fleur du Cap

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

  • Spier Cellars

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

  • Goats Do Roam Wine Company

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

  • Tall Horse

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

  • Hamilton Russell Vineyards

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

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South Africa on Snooth

  • Chaza Moscato NV


    Best Moscato I've tried. Read More

    Wine review by cpanthersfn

  • Diemersdal Sauvignon Blanc Durbanville 2013


    Light, fresh, and floral. Read More

    Wine review by worldsmith

  • Yesterday I was recovering from Monday night.  You see, Sandra & I ... Included are selections from South Africa, Argentina and Sonoma County.John Toigo, Domaine Select Wine Estate This is an amazing import portfolio highlighting Italy's wonderful wines. Food and Wine Magazine's "Importer of the Year 2010."Gary Smith, Standing Stone These wine... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekday Wines

  • Badenhorst Secateurs Red Blend 2011


    Tight and focused on the nose with a smoky top note and lots of sour red fruits framed with hints of sweet green spices and perhaps a hint of banana and band aid on the nose. With a very attractive blend of lightness and richness on the palate, this delivers a lovely textured wine, supported by integrated acids and rounded soft tannins. the frui... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz

  • Badenhorst Secateurs Red Blend 2011


    No written review

    Wine review by mark

  • DM-It was red and I'll have to think hard on the variety.  It ... get too far (like South Africa and many places, New Zealand..)  Read More

    Forum post in the topic The Biggest Wine Cellar in...

  • Hi. Tried to answer your survey, but I'm from South Africa, so much of this doesn't apply. Please state it's for customers in USA only to prevent getting half way through only to realize this. Good luck with your research and sorry I couldn't help.  Read More

    Forum post in the topic HELP! Conducting a Survey for...

  • Reyneke Sauvignon Blanc 2010


    No written review

    Wine review by martins2002

  • Kleine Zalze Foot of Africa Chenin Blanc South Africa 2009


    No written review

    Wine review by mark

  • What have been some of the high and low points of your career?The only huge ... We’d never worked in South Africa before. It was fascinating – a tabula rasa. Human beings need to change. If you’re a confident individual with an active mental capacity you need new challenges through your lif Read More

    Forum post in the topic Zelma Long Article

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