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Best Producers

South Africa: All South African Wines

What About South Africa?
Though thought of as distinctly New World, South Africa’s wine industry is actually over 300 years old. With recent governmental changes, South Africa has left its long period of international isolation, and wine drinkers in the US are beginning to see more and more of the fabled "Cape" wines on the domestic market. These wines actually share more in common with Old World styles, than do their New World counterparts. Being a cooler climate, with a distinct maritime influence, South African wines are generally a couple of degrees lower in alcohol than Australian or Californian wines, and have higher levels of acidity with relatively firm structures. All in all the national style shares much in common with that of France. Balance and moderation are the buzzwords, making these wines exceptionally friendly at the table. South African wines do have some unique signatures however. Fans of these wines note a distinctive minerally flavor present particularly in the reds which is usually described as iron-like. This nuance can often be found in a wine unique to the area known as Pinotage. A cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault, an obscure grape from the south of France, Pinotage is a lighter to mid weight red with lots of character. It is one of the few wines in the world that when fully ripe smells like blueberries! Blueberries, iron, or not, South Africa produces a range of distinctive wines to tempt the adventurous wine drinker.

Premier Producers
Clos Malverne (Cabernet Sauvignon)
Haute-Cabriere (Pinot Noir)
Meerlust
Mulderbosch (Sauvignon Blanc)
Rust en Vrede (Estate Red)


Great Producers
Boschendal (Chardonnay & Sauvignon Blanc)
Chamonix
Eikendal
Kanonkop
La Motte (Cabernet Sauvignon & Estate Red)
Neil Ellis
Rust en Vrede (Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz)
Saxenburg
Stellenryck (Cabernet Sauvignon & Chardonnay)
Stellenzicht
Warwick ("Trilogy" Estate Blend & Cabernet Sauvignon)


Dependable Producers
Some producers placed in this third tier are new (or new to us) and may merit a higher placement in subsequent vintages. These producers are offset by an asterik.
Backsberg
*Blaauwklippen (Cabernet Sauvignon & Zinfandel)
Boland
*Bouwland
*Cheetah Valley (Pinotage)
Fairview
Fleur du Cap
*Glen Carlou
Kleinbosch
*Klein Constantia (Vin de Constance)
KWV
Le Bonheur (Cabernet Sauvignon)
Lievland*
L’Ormarins (Sauvignon Blanc)
Middelvlei (Pinotage & Shiraz)
Mulderbosch ("Faithful Hound" Estate Blend)*
Neethlingshof
Rheboksloof (Merlot)*
Simonsig
Simonsvlei*
Springbok (Pinotage)
Swartland
Thelema*
Uiterwyk (Pinotage)*

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