South African wine

Some of the best wine in the new world

South african wine is not a new thing; wine has been made there for over 300 years. To begin with, vines were cultivated to make Brandy and fortified wines, but now South Africa is one of the leading producers of New World wines. South Africa’s geography gives it the ideal Mediterranean climate for growing grapes. This African country has even contributed its own variety to the winemaking world, Pinotage, a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault that gives a juicy flavour of raspberries and blueberries accompanied by notes of chocolate and tobacco. This south african wine is denser and with a higher alcohol percentage than those made with the Pinot Noir variety.

South African Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah reds are also well-known and sought after. And then there’s Chenin Blanc, which is the most cultivated white variety and is also known as Steen. South African Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay wines are also popular and sought after. Be surprised by the south african wine! A great opportunity to explore this fascinating African country.

South African wine history

South Africa is the oldest wine producing country in the so-called new world. South African wine dates back to the colonial era, specifically the 17th century. At that time, a supply company was set up at the Cape of Good Hope for those travelling to the Indies. It was the company’s founder who decided to import and plant vines from Spain, France and Germany to make wine there. He thought that wine could reduce cases of scurvy among sailors.

Later, Cape Town's first governor Simon van der Stel planted vineyards in the old Wildebosch. He named his land Stellenbosch, which literally means “the forest of Van der Stel”.

For years South African wine had a good reputation and was exported worldwide. However, when Apartheid policies came into force, the wine sector stagnated and exports reduced along with the import of new technologies.

The turning point for South Africa, as well as its wines, was Nelson Mandela’s release from prison. Since then, there has been a true revolution in the country and trade barriers have been lifted, opening it up to the world.

South Africa is now the ninth largest wine producer in the world. South African producers closely follow international wine trends and have implemented the most advanced cultivation and winemaking methods in their vineyards and wineries. Thanks to all this, their wines can now be found in the majority of restaurants and specialist shops around the world.

South African wine classification

South African wine can be classified by origin (WO Wine of Origin). This classification was established in 1973 and divided South African vineyards by region. From largest to smallest, the regions are:

-Official Regions: The main regions are Coastal Region WO, covering six districts, and Breede River Valley Region WO, which has three districts and Boberg Region WO.

-Districts: In the Coastal Region WO there is Constantia District WO, Durbanville District WO, Paarls District WO, Stellenbosch District WO, Swartland District WO, Tulbagh District WO. There are also the three in the Breede River Valley Region WO: Worcester District WO, Robertson District WO, Swellendam District WO. Finally, there are other districts that are not part of a large region: Klein Karoo district WO, Olifantsrivier District WO, Overberg District WO, Piketberg District WO, Douglas WO, Andalusia WO and Benede-Oranje WO.

Finally there is the so-called Denomination-Ward: the smallest land units.

Climate and soils

The dominant climate in the Cape Region is Mediterranean: winters are quite cold and rainy and summers are dry and can be very hot. There are also the sea winds that help moderate extreme temperatures and help white grapes to grow.

The terrain shape also plays a key role in the quality of South African wines. South Africa is varied and diverse. There are granite, calcareous, sandy and clayey soils, all at different altitudes because the terrain is rugged. There are splendid valleys, steep mountains and lovely plains. This gives local producers a wide range of possibilities to express and interpret the terrain in various ways, resulting in diverse wines.

South African varieties and vineyards

White varieties are the most commonly cultivated in South Africa, accounting for around 55% of the over one hundred thousand hectares of vineyard. The most common white grape strains from most to least common are the -(local name for Chenin Blanc), the Hanepoot (Muscat of Alexandria), the Colombard, Sauvignon, Cape Riesling and Chardonnay. The reds we find are Cinsault, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinotage (cross between Cinsault and Pinot Noir) and Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Pinot Noir.

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Newton Johnson Walker Bay Pinot Noir 2022

South Africa Walker Bay (Western Cape South Coast)

An expressive red from young South African vines
Newton Johnson Walker Bay...
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27.55
-10%
Price
24.79
VAT inc.
  • -10.02%
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Newton Johnson Albariño 2020 2022

South Africa Walker Bay (Western Cape South Coast)

The first Albariño planted in South Africa
Newton Johnson Albariño...
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23.95
-10%
Price
21.55
VAT inc.
  • -10.02%
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Boekenhoutskloof The Wolftrap Red Blend 2022

South Africa Franschhoek (Western Cape South Coast)

A flavoursome blend that is a true reflection of the Western Cape
Boekenhoutskloof The...
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10.60
-5%
Price
10.06
VAT inc.
  • -5.09%
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Badenhorst Kelderblok Steen 2021

South Africa Wine of Origin Swartland (Coastal Region)

A Chenin Blanc full of energy and minerality
Badenhorst Kelderblok Steen...
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49.05
-10%
Price
44.14
VAT inc.
  • -10.01%
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Jordan The Cold Fact Sauvignon Blanc 2023

South Africa WO Stellenbosch (Coastal Region)

The unique quest of the Jordan wineries’ ‘sugar man’
Jordan The Cold Fact...
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15.75
-15%
Price
13.38
VAT inc.
  • -15.05%
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Jordan Unoaked Chardonnay 2023

South Africa WO Stellenbosch (Coastal Region)

A Stellenbosch from a cool area
Jordan Unoaked Chardonnay 2023
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17.10
-10%
Price
15.38
VAT inc.
  • -10.06%
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Jordan The Prospector Syrah 2021

South Africa WO Stellenbosch (Coastal Region)

Chipotle and mild and tasty spices
Jordan The Prospector Syrah...
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91

Decántalo

20.20
-10%
Price
18.17
VAT inc.
  • -10.05%
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Jordan Cobblers Hill 2020

South Africa WO Stellenbosch (Coastal Region)

An elegant red wine to honour the family with
Jordan Cobblers Hill 2020
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35.65
-10%
Price
32.08
VAT inc.
  • -10.01%
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Jordan Black Magic Merlot 2021

South Africa WO Stellenbosch (Coastal Region)

The blackbird of wines
Jordan Black Magic Merlot 2021
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19.25
-10%
Price
17.32
VAT inc.
  • -10.03%
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Waterkloof White Circle of Life 2021

South Africa WO Stellenbosch (Coastal Region)

A quintessential showcase of the Waterkloof philosophy
Waterkloof White Circle of...
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91

Decántalo

89

Parker

18.25
-10%
Price
16.42
VAT inc.
  • -10.03%
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Delaire Graff Shiraz 2020

South Africa WO Stellenbosch (Coastal Region)

A versatile red with a flavour of red fruits
Delaire Graff Shiraz 2020
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19.70
-5%
Price
18.71
VAT inc.
  • -5.03%
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Paul Cluver Seven Flags Chardonnay 2020

South Africa Elgin (Western Cape South Coast)

A Chardonnay ambassador for the Elgin Valley
Paul Cluver Seven Flags...
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93

Decántalo

62.25
-10%
Price
56.02
VAT inc.
  • -10.01%
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Spioenkop Johanna Brandt Chenin Blanc 2018

South Africa Elgin (Western Cape South Coast)

A deep, complex and very elegant South African white wine
Spioenkop Johanna Brandt...
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94

Atkin

36.60
-10%
Price
32.93
VAT inc.
  • -10.03%
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Spioenkop 1900 Pinotage 2020

South Africa Elgin (Western Cape South Coast)

An ode to the area
Spioenkop 1900 Pinotage 2020
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34.20
-10%
Price
30.77
VAT inc.
  • -10.03%
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Morgenhof Sauvignon Blanc 2022

South Africa WO Stellenbosch (Coastal Region)

A Sauvignon Blanc with a character of its own
Morgenhof Sauvignon Blanc 2022
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Price
21.00
VAT inc.
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Delaire Graff Cabernet Franc Rose 2022

South Africa WO Stellenbosch (Coastal Region)

The perfect white to savour the freshness of summer
Delaire Graff Cabernet...
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20.05
-10%
Price
18.04
VAT inc.
  • -10.02%
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Badenhorst The Golden Slopes Chenin Blanc 2021

South Africa Wine of Origin Swartland (Coastal Region)

A taut and mineral-driven expression of Chenin Blanc.
Badenhorst The Golden...
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90

Parker

94

Suckling

46.45
-5%
Price
44.12
VAT inc.
  • -5.02%
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Delaire Graff Botmaskop 2018

South Africa WO Stellenbosch (Coastal Region)

A coupage with great structure and elegant tannins
Delaire Graff Botmaskop 2018
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90

Wine spectator

94

Atkin

42.10
-10%
Price
37.88
VAT inc.
  • -10.02%
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Delaire Graff White Reserva 2019

South Africa WO Stellenbosch (Coastal Region)

The Jewel of the Cape Winelands
Delaire Graff White Reserva...
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55.30
-10%
Price
49.76
VAT inc.
  • -10.02%
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Morgenhof Chenin Blanc 2021

South Africa WO Stellenbosch (Coastal Region)

Pure expression of the South African terroir with a Dutch soul
Morgenhof Chenin Blanc 2021
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18.45
-10%
Price
16.60
VAT inc.
  • -10.03%
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