For many years, South Africa has been somewhat of a mystery to Australian wine drinkers. But, in the last 10 - 15 years, South African wineries have been making a name for themselves around the world. South African terroir has been compared to wine from popular French regions such as Bordeaux and Burgundy - home of some of the best wines in the world.
So, if you’re looking for something new to try, check out our favourite South African wineries producing world-class wines.
Beyerskloof was established in Johannesburg in 1988 by four wine lovers with the goal to “produce a wine of exceptional character”.
Their vineyards boast 20,000 Cabernet Sauvignon and 5,000 Merlot vines. The land is similar to the popular French wine region of Bordeaux, made up of shallow, gravel soil that is ideal for growing grapes.
Beyerskloof use open-air fermenters and stores wine in French oak barriques - the traditional way of wine-making.
They have a wide range of Pinotage wine - South Africa’s signature wine variety.
Diemersfontein nestles in the Hawekwa Mountains and displays views of the stunning Du Toit’s Kloof and Bain’s Kloof mountains.
The estate has remained in the Sonnenberg family since the 1940s and has spanned 3 generations.
Tim Atkin, a British Master of Wine, scored an impressive 91 points for the Diemersfontein Carpe Diem Pinotage 2016 and had this to say about the variety - “ Rich, smooth and chocolatey, it has the concentration to carry its 70% new oak”.
Diemersdal is located in one of South Africa’s oldest wine regions - Durbanville Valley.
The complex climate and decomposed soil of Durbanville Valley provide the perfect location to grow vineyards. The grapes require no irrigation and are cooled by Atlantic Ocean winds and benefit from high rainfall. The natural process of growing grapes allows for rich, full-bodied flavours to develop.
Diemersdal have been collecting a slew of accolades in recent years. Their Sauvignon Blanc Reserve 2017 was awarded a Double Gold at the 2017 Veritas Wine Awards.
In 1993, Ken Forrester and his wife would acquire their vineyard through a public auction. Located in South Africa’s most popular wine region, Stellenbosch, they have grown to export their acclaimed wine globally.
Ken Forrester Winery has large plantations of the Chenin Blanc grape variety. When starting the winery, the goal was to develop a Chenin Blanc wine to rival the best white wines in the world.
The winery produces a mix of popular South African wines including Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Rose and Pinotage.
In the early 1980’s Achim von Arnim acquired a part of land, known as Franschhoek, wanting to make world-class Chardonnay - a local version of French Champagne.
Achim continued to buy land and purchased what was called - Haute Cabriere. Located in the incredible Franschhoek Mountains, the terrain of Haute Cabriere was similar to popular French wine region - Burgundy.
An underground cellar would be built into the side of the Franschhoek Mountains and opened in 1994.
Their famous Pierre Jourdan Brut was recently nominated for “Best Bubbly” at Wine Tourism South Africa’s “The Klink Awards”.
Fairview Winery was purchased by Charles Back in 1937 and is still owned by the Back family to this day.
Fairview Winery have always been innovators in the wine industry. In 1974 they began bottling and would have the Cape’s first public wine auction.
Fairview Winery has forever been a fixture of South African wines and in 1996, Charles Back was named the second most influential person in South African wine (placing behind Nelson Mandela).
Fairview Winery were the first to bring Mediterranean grapes including Tempranillo and Sangiovese to the Cape. They could grow a selection of different grapes by going “where the terroir is”. They have vineyards planted in Darling, Swartland, Paarl and Stellenbosch which gives them access to different climate and soil conditions to grow grapes.
In 2017, Charles Back became the most awarded winemaker in South Africa.
Want to try some South African wine? We have a massive container load of South African wines from these wineries and others arriving soon. Take a look at the South African wine
section of our online bottle shop