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

  • Pinotage

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

  • Chardonnay

    British wine writer and critic, Jancis Robinson, once noted that throughout the 80’s and 90’s in the United States, C...

  • Sauvignon Blanc

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

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

  • 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...

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...

  • Rupert & Rothschild

    At the foot of the spectacular Simonsberg mountain in the Franschhock Valley lies the historic Fr...

  • 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...

  • Boland Kelder

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

  • Fleur du Cap

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

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South Africa on Snooth

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  • New image uploaded to this page.

    Page modification by 558339realfish 558339 realfish


  • I'm South African and I live in the us so.... I guess I am a true african-american

    Comment by 540431jojk 540431 jojk


  • I love South Africa, and South African wines!

    Comment by 506765Spier 506765 Spier


  • You can find some of the best wines in South africa. From Chardonnay, Shiraz and Cab Sav to wonderful Noble Late Harvest. When visiting South Africa make sure you visit the Western Cape and look out for Durbanville Hills, Creation, Hamilton Russel and lots more!

    Comment by 495455hetta 495455 hetta


  • I went last year, MRGTO, had a superb wine-focused tour. Some photos on flickr if you are interested http://www.flickr.com/photos/scribbler/sets/72157615370219709/

    Comment by 71518winescribbler 71518 winescribbler


  • My wife, I and two friends went to South Africa in Dec.2008 and had a wonderful time. I highly recommend it.

    Comment by 128780mrgto 128780 mrgto


  • South Africa has, without doubt, the most beautiful wine valleys in the world. There are so, so many stunning wines in South Africa, and so many more to taste! My husband and I are huge fans....the country found us. If you are travelling there, take time to get off the beaten path and enjoy the flavors, beautiful views, and clean air of the co...

    Comment by 384611Mosaic Farm 384611 Mosaic Farm


  • Having just joined Snooth I hope the information that gets shared is more accurate than the positioning of South Africa on the Map section. I know Aussies have ideas above their station, but I'm sure not even they would say South Africa would fit neatly into Sydney Harbour. Look forward to "meeting" some kindred spirits.

    Comment by 364639Proteas 364639 Proteas


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