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South Africa
Although vines were planted by the original Dutch settlers and the Cape was celebrated in the 18th century for its legendary Constantia dessert wine, the modern South African wine industry only really got going in the early Nineties

Although vines were planted by the original Dutch settlers and the Cape was celebrated in the 18th century for its legendary Constantia dessert wine, the modern South African wine industry only really got going in the early Nineties after the ending of years of apartheid and economic isolation. Now the sixth most popular source of wine in the UK, the country’s appeal has been its ability to produce everything from good entry level wine to top quality wines that compare with the best in the world.

Look for:

STELLENBOSCH:

Rustenberg – Icon winery in SA, producer of fine red blends and premium Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. Located on the slopes of the Simonsberg.

Glenelly – The property was purchased in 2003 by May de Lencquesaing formerly of Château Pichon Lalande, making classic red varietals and blends plus newly-released Chardonnays. Also located on the slopes of the Simonsberg.

Kaapzicht – The third generation of the Steytler family make exemplary Pinotage and classic red varietal wines. Steytler premium wines regularly win international awards. Located in the Bottelary Hills.

Guardian Peak – Owned by Jean Engelbrecht, the winery produces wines that are strong, positive examples of their varietals and location on the Helderberg Mountain.

Rust en Vrede – The iconic Rust en Vrede is a 300-year-old winery owned by Jean Engelbrecht, and specialises in Cabernet, Merlot and Shiraz produced from estate-grown Helderberg fruit.

Ernie Els Wines – Wines made by Louis Strydom, with many international accolades. The range was extended in 2011 with four single varietals and Big Easy red blend and Chenin Blanc. Located on the Helderberg.

DeMorgenzon – One of the rapidly rising stars on the South African premium wine scene, the atmosphere on the estate bubbles with energy and excitement.

WALKER BAY

Bouchard Finlayson – Winemaker Peter Finlayson planted vines in 1989. Pinot Noir Galpin Peak is the star of the estate alongside three styles of Burgundy-inspired Chardonnay and some innovative red and white blends.

ELGIN

Paul Cluver – A 2000 ha estate that sits within the Kogelberg Biosphere, a UNESCO world heritage site. Cluver were the first wine growers in the region, with plantings started in 1986. Banks of cloud frequently cover the vineyards enabling cool climate varietals to thrive.

Catherine Marshall – Catherine established a ‘home base’ in Elgin permanently in 2011 with vines and winery under her control as well as buying in premium red varietals for her SMG blend. The estate’s motto is ‘Powered by Pinot’.

DARLING

Darling Cellars – While some of the Darling Cellars vineyards enjoy the coolness of the Darling Hills, others back in the sun in the flatter hinterland. Best known for Shiraz and Sauvignon Blanc as well as old vine Pinotage and Chenin Blanc.

MALMESBURY

Spice Route – Established in 1997, Spice Route is recognised for producing exceptionally ripe and deep-flavoured wines. Deep red soils and unirrigated bush vines produce the red wines in Malmesbury, whilst white wines are produced in Darling where the climate is moderated by cooling Atlantic breezes and morning mists.

WESTERN CAPE

Indaba – From the Zulu word for ‘meeting of minds’, Indaba’s production is overseen by Bruwer Raats, celebrated winemaker of Raats Family wines.

Forge Mill – Great value range offering varietal distinction and consistency.

Withington Wines – Blended in South Africa by Charles Withington for Seckford Agencies, Withington Wines offer wines of personality at competitive price points.