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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

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

  • Nederburg

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

  • Fleur du Cap

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

  • Juno Wines Company

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

  • Obikwa

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

  • Tall Horse

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

  • Spier Cellars

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

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South Africa on Snooth

  • Diemersdal Unwooded Chardonnay Chardonnay Durbanville 2012


    My wife and I are not white wine drinkers. This came as part of a subscription to the South African Winemakers Guild along with a Merlot from the same winery. Overall this is a nice simple Chardonnay. It is unwooded so there is a smoother feel to this than other Chardonnays that I have had. Overall not a bad wine but not one that I would go seek... Read More

    Wine review by anstett

  • Boekenhoutskloof the Wolftrap White 2013


    2013 - Let's start off by recognizing that this is a $10 wine. We're not going into this expecting all that much. That said, this is a pleasant Rhône style wine, with a nice medium-dark red color. Lots of spice and earth, some mild red fruit. The alcohol hits hard, and is my one major sticking point with this wine. If that were a little better b... Read More

    Wine review by dhaus

  • Two Oceans Cabernet Suvignon 2010


    No written review

    Wine review by doublefantasy

  • Diemersdal Estate Merlot 2011


    This was the first of a new subscription from South African Winemakers Guild. This was just ok. It is a nice wine, but a little flat to my palate. I am glad to have the chance to see wines I would never otherwise know about. Read More

    Wine review by anstett

  • Oracle Pinotage 2013


    No written review

    Wine review by GinaR1173

  • Carmen Stevens Angel's Reserve Shiraz 2012


    No written review

    Wine review by anstett

  • Douglas Green Steen Vineyard Creation Western Cape 2010


    Very nice simple South African chenin blanc. Lemon meringue, dried apricot, a touch of honey, modest acidity and a short to medium finish. Good diversion from the usual suspects and a very good QPR. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0

  • Mulderbosch Sauvignon Blanc 2011


    No written review

    Wine review by Kait7557

  • Boekenhoutskloof the Wolftrap White 2013


    No written review

    Wine review by Mrs Chicago

  • Pomula Wine Spritz Passion Fruit South Africa NV


    A white wine spritz from South Africa. Quite tasty, light fizz. Mild tropical flavor of Passion Fruit, and white grapes. I have also tried (and liked) their Pomegranite spritz. Goes well with spicey foods, and sharp cheese. Read More

    Wine review by StukNlodi

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