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...

  • Pinotage

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

  • Sauvignon Blanc

    Sauvignon Blanc is widely grown in California -- at over 15,000 acres, it’s now the third most planted variety -- and...

  • Syrah

    The irony here is that Syrah’s origins could give Carmen Sandiego a run for her international wallet. Syrah’s deepest...

  • 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

  • Meerlust

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

  • Boland Kelder

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

  • Spier Cellars

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

  • Jam Jar

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

  • Juno Wines Company

    The Juno Wine Company - based in the town of Paarl in the heart of South Africa’s winelands - was...

  • Goats Do Roam Wine Company

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

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South Africa on Snooth

  • Buitenverwachting Bayten Sauvignon Blanc 2012


    Rather herbal and soil driven on the nose with chalky aromas complimenting the base of dried bay leaves and nettles framing delicate fig and kiwi fruit notes that pick up a hint of pear with air. Soft, broad and transparent in the mouth, this is tangy and tart. Transparent if a touch fat around the edges on the palate, theres a lovely directnes... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz

  • D – yeah but there are lots of things people have thought for many years ... many studies, whether in CA, South Africa, Australia, and Europe. Here’s a study. Yeah, I know it’s not for desert conditions but it’s a lot easier to read than some of them. Read More

    Forum post in the topic So, Have You Heard of This?

  • Cederberg Bukettraube 2011


    Interesting South African white made from the bukettraube grape. Very floral viognier like nose but more reisling in taste. Very slightly sweet but not cloying, nice acidity with honeysuckle, dried pineapple and dried apricot. There's medium alcohol (13.5%) and a good finish. Pleasantly surprised. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0

  • Arabella Shiraz 2013


    This was a miss the first time. Nice enough but not what I expected. Perhaps I did not get the right temp or let it breathe properly. I will try again later and if I change my mind I will revise.2nd bottle tried and did not even finish it. Just a miss. Read More

    Wine review by anstett

  • Wellington Vo Brandy NV


    A brilliant brandy,excellent neat ,with soda and combines well with Coka-Cola! Much stronger taste than US and European counterparts.worth 5 Stars Read More

    Wine review by takbok306

  • Barista Pinotage 2012


    No written review

    Wine review by CageyT

  • I had a look on Facebook tonight at "For the Love of Wine" and the ... ... in 2011.  It is in South Africa.  Perhaps Kim, you're not aware that "For the Love of Wine" already exist Read More

    Forum post in the topic Eager to learn all about wine

  • Cederberg Shiraz 2009


    No written review

    Wine review by CageyT

  • Jam Jar Sweet Shiraz 2012


    No written review

    Wine review by thorella

  • Nederburg Shiraz the Winemaster's Reserve 2009


    Is that South African terroir or is there some Pinotage in here? A little rubbery and with the notes of burning rubber that are often found in Pinotage, this does show plenty of jammy, somewhat wild plum fruit on the nose with subtle shadings of chocolaty used oak and peppery accents Bright, round and well balanced on entry,there's a polish he... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz

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