There are several reasons to conclude that South African wines ought to be in high demand. First, it has over 400 years of winemaking history. Second It leads the world in environmental sustainability, in supposedly, our conscious effort to reduce the world’s carbon footprint. In addition, the University of Stellenbosch is ranked as the top five most advanced global institutions for viticulture research. Impressively, including institutions specifically for wine and cellar biotechnology, along with a school dedicated to the study of international competitive table wine grapes industries. I will also mention, their wines won’t put a dent in your wallet. There is then the final salute as to why all of you should gather cartfuls of South African wines, just as you have been with paper towels as of recent. Out of 195 wine-producing countries in the world, South Africa ranks, ninth. How do you like them grapes?!


I have often compared South Africa to a Mom and Pop wine shop that has had a significant historical presence in the production of wine but has struggled to maintain open doors for centuries. Today, in the climate of the pandemic, their industry is wrestling to avoid yet another collapse in their wine industry. If it were to happen, the people believe in their wine, and I don’t doubt they would come back with a stronger enterprise.


The South Africa wine industry is the only country worldwide currently experiencing a serious roller coaster ride of banned wine exports. Further, they are compounded with internal government injunctions like  to prohibit the sale of alcohol. How are people able to support their trade and maintain resilience? It’s detrimental when the export of wine in South Africa’s main market and production is relevant to a specialty shop where the focus is on estate wines.


The country has already experienced two rebirths. 

Positively, in the 17th century, Huguenots who were French Protestants were fleeing France from severe religious persecution from the Catholic church. They arrived in what was then known as The Cape of Good Hope and many of these settlers were given land which they named Franschhoek. They brought with them vines, mainly Bordeaux cultivars, and planted them on what is conclusive to be some of the most ancient soils in the world.

Negatively, was the establishment of a greedy group, the  KWV. It was founded as a cooperative in 1918 to protect growers from the loss of markets after the Boer War and World War I. However, it did more to harm the wine industry, as they focused on the production of bulk wine.

The second was the end of apartheid. This opened doors for the South African wine industry to begin developing a reputation for quality wine production that could compete with others on the international market.


Here is a thought to ponder on.  The statistics reported are that Italy was most hit with the pandemic after China. Yet, although hit hard, they were able to still export their oceans of wine to the market. Let’s just say ONE Italian bottle carries the virus, will their industry shut down? Perhaps, It’s a smart move on the country’s government to implement these restrictions simply to protect the image of “boutique South African wines” they decided not to export. Why jeopardize their respectability? They have just emerged as a premium wine producer long fought for.  Please contribute your thoughts.


South African winemakers, there are strong reasons to persevere. First, the 2020 vintage is showing to be exceptional wines. Second, In support, their government has allowed last-minute concessions to harvest this great vintage. Consumers are going to be excited with the Cabernet Sauvignons materializing this year, sexy and succulent. Cap Classique, (traditional method sparkling wine), producers are heavily investing in this style in pursuit of higher quality. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention South Africa is a destination that is worth traveling to. It’s breathtaking for one, the food and wine are spectacular, the hospitality is on point and best of all affordability. During this time, the wine and hospitality industries are working together to improve the tourism experience. 

This official site is a great resource to explore this great region. I would hope to have served as an inspiration to be in search of the…..


(WOSA) is the organization representing all South African producers of wine who export their products. WOSA, which was established in its current form in 1999, has over 500 exporters on its database, comprising all the major South African wine exporters. It is constituted as a not-for-profit company and is totally independent of any producer, wholesaling company, or government department but is recognized by the South African Export Council. WOSA’s mandate is to promote the export of all South African wines in key international markets including the United States.  quoted from


I chose three wines to review to give an introductory idea of what to savor.

#1 Graham Beck Brut Rose

Graham Beck Brut Rose Non Vintage

To know the spirit of South African wine is to discover a pioneer, Graham Beck. Sparkling wines in South Africa known as Cap Classique is a serious business. He is the icon of this style. Here, Graham Beck Brut Rose is a captivating classic blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. 

#2 Lieland Vineyards Old Vines Chenin Blanc 2017 Paarl


Chenin Blanc, known as Steen ( means stone), is the most widely planted cultivar. In fact, there is no other country in the world that has embraced more than South Africa. The style versatility to this grape is vast, bone dry, sparkling, and lusciously age-worthy sweet wines. Look for old vines, as this is where Cenin Blanc shines the most. Here Lieland Vineyards Old Vines Chenin Blanc 2017 Paarl is a flawless example.

#3 Delaire Graff Botmaskop 2016 from Stellonbosch


In the true traditional style of Bordeaux and southern Rhone Valley, red blends from varietals of these two regions, are South Africa’s trademark. Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah (aka Shiraz), are the big dogs in town. Here, Delaire Graff Botmaskop 2016 from Stellonbosch, stands proud to represent these French cultivars. It demonstrates Bordeaux’s sophistication, with Rhone Valley’s opulent fruit.


Ciao! Hope you enjoyed my review please comment below Love your feedback.
Thank you and remember Taste Small Live Big!
Follow me on Instagram @epicurean.angel

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