Top 100 wines of South Africa

Discover the top 100 best wines of South Africa as well as the best winemakers in the region. Explore the varietals of the wines that are popular of South Africa and the best vintages to taste in this region.

Discovering the wine region of South Africa

South Africa is one of the most important wine producing countries in the southern hemisphere. With over 300 years of wine making history, it is often described as a bridge between the Old and New Worlds. The majority of wines are produced using New World winemaking techniques, but they often have more stylistic similarities with their Old World counterparts. Since the end of apartheid, South African wine has received international attention and recognition for its wide variety of styles.

The South African wine industry is spread across the lush and rugged landscape of the Western Cape. Here, the abundance of mountains, valleys and plateaus allows winemakers to produce a wide variety of styles. Wineries can also be found in the Orange River region of the Northern Cape, where the flat, arid landscape is dominated by the Kalahari Desert. Most of South Africa's wine regions have a MediterraneanClimate, strongly influenced by the meeting of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans.

The country's signature Grape is Pinotage">Pinotage, an indigenous cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsaut that is rarely found in quantity in any other wine producing country. Shiraz is also widespread, as are Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot (often combined in a Bordeaux blend). However, white grape varieties account for 55% of the country's 96,000 hectares of vineyards. Chenin Blanc is the most planted grape variety in the republic with 18.

Discover the grape variety: Cabernet franc

Cabernet Franc is one of the oldest red grape varieties in Bordeaux. The Libourne region is its terroir where it develops best. The terroirs of Saint-Emilion and Fronsac allow it to mature and develop its best range of aromas. It is also the majority in many blends. The very famous Château Cheval Blanc, for example, uses 60% Cabernet Franc. The wines produced with Cabernet Franc are medium in colour with fine tannins and subtle aromas of small red fruits and spices. When blended with Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, it brings complexity and a bouquet of aromas to the wine. It produces fruity wines that can be drunk quite quickly, but whose great vintages can be kept for a long time. It is an earlier grape variety than Cabernet Sauvignon, which means that it is planted as far north as the Loire Valley. In Anjou, it is also used to make sweet rosé wines. Cabernet Franc is now used in some twenty countries in Europe and throughout the world.

Food and wine pairing with a wine of South Africa

wines from the region of South Africa go well with generally quite well with dishes of beef, lamb or pork such as recipes of chicken, beef and lamb couscous (morocco), lamb delight with tomato and cinnamon or stuffed eggplant (with vegetables or mixed).

Organoleptic analysis of wine of South Africa

On the nose in the region of South Africa often reveals types of flavors of butterscotch, cedar or raspberry and sometimes also flavors of pepper, black fruits or mocha. In the mouth in the region of South Africa is a powerful with a nice freshness.

News from the vineyard of South Africa

Vanilla is the ‘most pleasant’ smell, finds study

Vanilla was ranked as the most pleasant smell in a study involving 235 people and conducted by an international network of researchers, including those from the University of Oxford and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. This was closely followed by ethyl butyrate, ‘which smells like peaches’, said the researchers, who published their findings in the Current Biology journal. Vanilla notes can be found in several wine styles, such as some iterations of Chardonnay or Rioja, largely resulting from ...

North Italy suffers over 100 days of drought

Springtime brings the so-called ‘Caldaia di Maggio’ to Barolo, a noise similar to a kettle simmering that is caused by evaporating water in the soils. This year, however, it’s unlikely that this phenomenon will occur. Drought is affecting the entire north of Italy; predominantly the Langhe but also Valpolicella and Franciacorta. Not even Tuscany is spared. The vineyards are lacking the reserves of water that their soils usually contain at this time of year. Winter passed without snow in almost a ...

Decanter World Wine Awards 2022 open for entries

The Decanter World Wine Awards is the world’s largest and most influential wine competition, and is arguably the most comprehensive and authoritative source of recommendations for wine lovers worldwide. It is the trusted relationship that Decanter – the world’s leading wine media brand – has with an international audience of both consumers and trade that sets DWWA apart from other competitions, alongside world-class judging panels and a rigorous judging process. Wines are judge ...