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

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

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

  • Robertson Winery

    Our winery has a long-standing tradition of dedicated grape-growing families, some of whom are 4t...

  • 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 ...

  • Nederburg

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

  • Goats Do Roam Wine Company

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

  • 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

  • Cederberg Chenin Blanc South Africa 2016

    Snoothrank:

    Tropical fruit notes of banana and melon with a tart mineral note. In the mouth this has a creamy aged cheese note with lemon and grapefruit fruit flavors and zippy acidity coursing through to the finish. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Riebeek Cellars Chenin Blanc 2016

    Snoothrank:

    Honeysuckle, melon and lemon aromas. This has a full and rich texture on the palate which imparts a creaminess, though the flavor profile is quite citrusy and herbal with notes of lime, grapefruit and melon finishing with a grassy butter note and more fresh lemon. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Demorgenzon Reserve Chenin Blanc 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Fresh apricot, apple and soft melon aromas. Buttery and creamy textured on entry, this has a pleasant lemon palate and medium-full body, finishing a bit herbal. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Keermont Vineyards Riverside Chenin Blanc Stellenbosch 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Decadent cream and persimmon aromas with a touch of sea breeze on the nose. Though there is a nice fruit base of apple and melon, this is well oaked, with vanilla cream and oak spice rising through the midpalate towards the finish where it lingers imparting waves of wood spice and toast. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Solms Delta Chenin Blanc South Africa 2016

    Snoothrank:

    Floral and mineral notes on the nose with a lemon and toasted almond blend. This has a bright zest of tangerine juice on the attack but is fairly soft, faintly floral and a bit buttery on the finish with more lemon zest. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Going to a Cabernet Degustation next WednesdayThe Wine line upAustralia ... 91 ... 91 points Vinous NZ and South AfricaDombeya Fenix 2009KLEIN CONSTANTIA ESTATE RED 2014TE MATA ESTATE 'COLERAINE' 2015 96+ Points - Gary Walsh The Wine FrontPURIRI HILLS RESERVE 2008 95 Points - Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine French  Chateau Latour Le Pauillac d... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Aussie Wine in the US


  • Delaire Graff Banghoek Reserve Chardonnay Stellenbosch 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Peach, vanilla, lemon and mineral nose. This has a perfumed floral character in the mouth but the fruit is somewhat muted, resulting in a more austere, mineral driven palate that still comes with a fair bit of smoky vanilla oak toast. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Heron's Nest Cabernet Sauvignon-Pinotage 2007

    Snoothrank:

    this was bought in Dunnes stores for 9 euros less 20% and less 25%, supposedly I will be sent vouchers so I suppose roughly a net price of 4.5 euro if everything works out, for that price its definitely worth the price so I went back to buy more and of course they have none left and they pulled the special offer early which is always a good sign... Read More

    Wine review by bonod


  • So any updates, Stephen?Have heard good things about harvest in the Cape winelands in South Africa, though so far its just unsubstantiated scuttlebutt about Constantia...  Read More

    Forum post in the topic Early Vintage Outlook Australia


  • Mulderbosch Cabernet Sauvignon Rose 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Mariano's 3/2017. Read More

    Wine review by raindance


  • Sirs, May you introduce me to a company that exports South African wines? My e-mail address is scmsprl@yahoo.fr Thanks, Constant Bopima M. Bokoto

    Comment by 1111044Bob Moelo 1111044 Bob Moelo


  • I am a South African, Capetonian, from Somerset West, right in the heart of the wine region. My heart misses home every day, but thankfully, being able to enjoy South African wine, especially reds, where one can taste South Africa in the terroir, helps me get through each day.

    Comment by 750105nikkibean 750105 nikkibean


  • "Late Harvest" was my favourite wine in the mid 80's when I lived in Zimbabwe, now I'd like to explore the South African reds and introduce them to my corporate wine events in the Silicone Valley. Peter M -Clubspot Bev (San Jose, Calif)

    Comment by 695810pmugwagwa 695810 pmugwagwa


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