South Africa

A long history of growing grapes and making wine, but less of a history on exporting it, and even lesser on the quality aspect. At the turn of the century (1900, that is), a surplus of wine in South Africa created a hierarchy of cooperatives, the biggest and best known being KWV. This organization seemed to favor quantity over quality and had most control over wines and vineyards until the late 1980's. Now, with a bit more competition, quality is the focus of many winemakers. Yet, South African wine was not even seen in American wine stores until the mid-1990's – the trade embargo on the country for their racial apartheid laws kept South African wine out of the US. When apartheid fell, so did the embargo, and South African bottles began showing up on US shelves.

Notable Facts

White wine has always been the cash crop of South Africa, with much of it distilled to make brandy. More white than red is planted, the majority of it is Steen – known elsewhere in the world as Chenin Blanc. Good producers are making top quality dry wines from this grape. Another grape the critics rave aboutSauvignon Blanc, producing whites that are dry and crisp, yet rounder than many of its Southern Hemisphere counterparts. For reds, the top grapes are Syrah/Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon (& blends) and Pinotage. Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux blends were once the favorite and most-produced, but Shiraz is taking over as wineries crank out high quality wines from the variety. Pinotage, a man-made crossing between Pinot Noir and Cinsault, has improved dramatically and is often as delicious as it is distinctive. In describing red wines in South Africa, smoky and meaty are two terms that are common. Regionally, the most popular wine-making areas include Stellenbosch and Paarl.
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  • Boekenhoutskloof The Chocolate Block Red Blend 2015
    $35.99
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  • Meerlust Rubicon 2012
    $29.99
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  • Bayten Buitenverwachting Sauvignon Blanc 2016
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  • Kanonkop Pinotage 2014
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  • Ernie Els Signature 2011
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  • Warwick Estate Pinotage 2014
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    • red wine
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  • Indaba Chenin Blanc 2016
    $12.00 $9.99
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    • white wine
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  • Kanonkop Paul Sauer Red Blend 2011
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  • Guardian Peak Frontier 2011
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  • De Morgenzon Reserve Chenin Blanc 2015
    $37.99
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    • white wine
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    • D95
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  • Goats do Roam Rose 2016
    $9.99
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    • pink & rosé
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    (1)
  • Boschendal The Rose Garden Rose 2015
    $13.99
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    • pink & rosé
    • screw cap wine
    • WW91
  • MAN Vintners Chenin Blanc 2016
    $12.00 $8.99
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  • Fleur du Cap Pinotage 2013
    $12.99
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  • Neil Ellis Sincerely Shiraz 2014
    $15.00 $12.99
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  • La Capra Sauvignon Blanc 2015
    $11.99
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  • Boekenhoutskloof The Wolftrap 2015
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  • Meerlust Chardonnay 2011
    $23.00 $16.99
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    • WS89
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  • Graham Beck Game Reserve Chardonnay 2014
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  • Goats do Roam Red 2015
    $8.99
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  • Raats Original Chenin Blanc 2016
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    • white wine
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    • Green wine
    • WS91
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  • Kanonkop Kadette 2014
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  • Graham Beck Game Reserve Pinotage 2014
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  • Graham Beck Brut Methode Cap Classique
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  • Simonsig Chenin Blanc 2015
    $13.99
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    • white wine
    • screw cap wine

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