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7 Delectable South African Wines You Can’t Stop Sipping

Wines of South Africa
Written by Abraham Odhiambo

South Africa‘s winemaking history goes back to over 350 years ago. Many different grape varietals thrive in South Africa, allowing for a wide variety of wines to be available, from Cabernet Sauvignon and Chenin blanc to Pinotage and Merlot.

South Africa ‘Winelands’ are among the most recognized wine-producing regions in the world. The Winelands are stunningly beautiful and home to over 300 vineyards. The abundance of valleys, mountains and plateaus allow winemakers to produce a diverse range of styles.

Wines of South Africa

South Africa has been making wine since the 17th century. Photo/ Documentary Tube.

Regardless of how you classify its wines, South Africa is home to some of the most noteworthy producers in the world. Sea Africa Today looks at seven best South African wines impossible to stop sipping.

1. Raats Bush Vine Chenin Blanc Limited Release 2021 

This is a special white wine considered the best overall South African wine. It is made from 45-year-old vines, meaning they are free-standing and not trellised.

The vines produce grapes with more concentrated flavours which make this Chenin blanc an elegant but unexpectedly complex white that is full of orange blossom, pear and spice. You can give yourself a real treat by drinking this wine with fish dishes or a creamy curry.

2. 2017 Terre Brulee ‘Le Rouge’ Shiraz Cinsault Swartland 

The 2017 Terre Brulee ‘Le Rouge’ Shiraz Cinsault Swartland is one of the delicious wines of South Africa that you can’t stop sipping. This wine is generous and ripe with earthy, vaguely meaty aromas of black cherries and brambly berries. It is made by the highly regarded Loire producers Tania and Vincent Careme.

3. Journey’s End Methode Cap Classique Brut Reserve 

This type of wine is produced using only the best quality cuvee and fermented for a second time in the bottle to produce the bubbles. The fizz spends at least 18 months on lees to give it distinctive brioche notes which are similar to champers.

You should ditch overpriced champagne and try this wine full of fruity pizzazz with a crispy acidity that would make a shellfish dish sing.

4. Billy Bosch Paarl Cabernet Sauvignon 

Unlike other locally produced wines in the Paarl region which are usually blended with other varieties, Billy Bosch lets the cabernet sauvignon do its thing alone. It’s is a full-bodied jammy, spicy red that explodes with blackcurrant flavours. Billy Bosch is every meat-eater’s favourite wine that goes well with a rich beef stew.

5. 2016 Beeslaar Pinotage Stellenbosch 

Have you tasted a bad Pinotage before? Well, the 2016 Beeslaar Pinotage Stellenbosch is here to make you forget the trauma you’ve had in the past. It’s juicy and complex with a plenty of blackberries, minerality and black cherries. It also has a lovely sense of perfume, which will keep you coming back for more.

6. 2014 Momento Chenin Blanc Verdelho Western Cape 

This wine has only gotten better with age. The Momento Chenin Blanc Verdelho Western Cape is concentrated with hard stone fruit and pears that are joined by a mashed almond note that lingers through the mineral finish. It’s one of the delicious wines of South Africa.

The 2014 Momento Chenin Blanc Verdelho Western Cape

The 2014 Momento Chenin Blanc Verdelho Western Cape has only gotten better with age. Photo/ Times of India.

7. 2016 Sadie Family Wines ‘Palladius’ Swartland 

The 2016 Sadie Family Wines ‘Palladius’ Swartland is a blend of a slew of grapes which include Chenin Blanc, Viognier, Roussanne, Grenache Blanc, Palomino, Marsanne, Clairette Blanche and Verdelho. It’s delicious, bursting with yellow apples, nectarines and fennel bulb.

What is the Most Popular Wine in South Africa? 

The most popular red wines are cabernet sauvignon, shiraz (syrah), along with cinsault (or cinsaut), pinot noir and the homegrown Cape favourite, Pinotage. Meanwhile, Chenin blanc remains to be the favourite white whine even though there are other splendid examples of sauvignon blanc too.

What Wines are South Africa Known for? 

South Africa has its own unique wine, which is Pinotage. However, the most widely planted varietals in South Africa at the moment are Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon.

What is the Best Wine to Drink in South Africa? 

  1. 2015 Tokara ‘Telos’
  2. 2012 De Toren The Black Lion Shiraz
  3. 2009 Delaire Graff Estate Laurence Graff Reserve
  4. 2014 Kanonkop Black Label Pinotage
  5. 2017 Bouchard Finlayson Tete de Cuvee Galpin Peak Pinot Noir
  6. 2013 Vilafonte Series M
  7. 2013 Hamilton Russell Vineyards Pinot Noir
  8. 2016 Boekenhoutskloof The Chocolate Block
  9. 2012 Neil Ellis ‘Webb Ellis’
  10. 2013 De Wetshof Danie de Wet Nature in Concert Pinot Noir

Are South African Wines any Good? 

South African wines offer impressively good value, and taste and feature styles that are food friendly, and have blending elegance and power.

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About the author

Abraham Odhiambo

Abraham Odhiambo is a writer with interests in nature, travel, African safari and sports. I'm pursuing a bachelor's degree in Media and Communication at Egerton University.

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