WineCollective’s Quick Guide to South African Wine

Why drink wine from South Africa?

Boasting nearly 3000 km of coastline, South Africa is the only wine region in the world that is bordered by two oceans. With the Atlantic to the West and the Indian ocean to the East, South Africa is home to many beautiful vistas. One thing South Africa has in common with other wine countries in the world: incredible landscapes. We are hard-pressed to think of a wine region anywhere in the world that isn’t beautiful to look at—and South Africa is no exception. The unique environment created by its combination of geography and climate has made South Africa ideally suited to wine production. South African wine is known for pairing easily with food, approachable price points, and offering a wide range of grapes. Therefore, your next bottle should definitely be South African wine!

How did winemaking start in South Africa?

treed hillside in South Africa's wine country

With a grape-growing history stretching back over 300 years to early Dutch colonists, South Africa is not new to the wine game. Cape Town was an important re-stocking station for trade voyages between Europe and the East Indies. Local wine production was critical and kick-started early-on by cuttings from French grape varieties. Despite South Africa’s wine-growing history starting with colonization, it has been able to flourish past its harsh beginnings. As a nation it does not crack the top 10 in volume of wine production. However, many wine lovers around the world continue to seek out the exceptional quality wines grown and made in South Africa.

What grapes grow in South Africa?

close shot of grape vine

The signature grapes most commonly associated with South Africa are:

  • Chenin Blanc (also called Steen)
  • Pinotage (a made-in-South-Africa crossing of Pinot Noir and Cinsault)

In addition to these, other major French varieties are also thriving. Some varietals are becoming increasingly available in export markets and are well worth seeking out, including: 

  • Chardonnay
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Syrah
  • Merlot

The variety in South Africa vineyards is always expanding. As a result of South Africa’s incredible biological diversity, sustainability has become an important watchword for wine producers. Many of such producers invest considerable resources in preserving their land. As a result, you will find new varietals growing in innovative ways here.

Try South African wine today!

bottle of Spier Golden Thread wine laying on its side

We feature South African wine throughout the year and are always happy to help our members discover exciting bottles from regions they may not be familiar with. One of our favourite South African wineries, located just outside the Stellenbosch region, is Spier Wine Farms. Their Golden Thread red blend is excellent and always a great wine to indulge in. Shop Spier now and get exploring South African wine!