south africa


Order by January 18, 2019


Bosman Family Vineyards: 
The first generation of the Bosman family, Hermanus, arrived on Leliefontein farm in 1798. The farm was originally issued to a French Huguenot, Philip de Royan, one hundred years earlier in 1699. Following a history of producing wines, in the fifties the family turned their focus to creating a vine nursery—they now own the largest vine nursery in Africa at Groenberg, Wellington. Another fifty years on and in 2007, Petrus Bosman, eighth generation, returned to making wines and renovated the 260-year-old cellar. The Bosman family is committed to improving social, economic and environmental practices and are part of the biggest Black Economic Empowerment project in the South African wine industry. The estate employs 260 full-time workers many of whom are themselves fifth generation families who have lived and worked on the farm and who now own 26% of the business and farmland.

Aristea Wines : Aristea in Constantia, South Africa, is a project created by Opimian supporter and friend Martin Krajewski from Clos Cantenac in Saint-Émilion, together with Matt Krone from the Cape and winemaking consultant Florent Dumeau. The first Aristea wines were released in 2017. The range is named after a flower which blooms for just one day every year and was chosen as a symbol of struggle, passion and dedication. Aristea is found only in the Cape and Madagascar where it grows on land ravaged by fire. The trio commissioned leading botanical artist and Cape resident Vicki Thomas to do a watercolour of Aristea flowers, which is the label.

Richard Kershaw Wines: Established in the cool climate vineyards of Elgin in the Western Cape, South Africa, Richard Kershaw Wines aims to produce the best wines of their style in South Africa.
The winery was founded in 2011 to create clonally selected wines. Elgin Valley is South Africa’s coolest wine district: higher altitude, ocean proximity and a large diurnal range make it an ideal location for growing vines. It is essentially an apple-growing area situated inland on a hexagonal shaped plateau at 300 metres, surrounded by mountains and only 10 kilometres from the Atlantic Ocean. Each wine is made from two to four small parcels in terroir-specific plots with particular soil types. The grapes are handpicked, and no pumps are used, nor are enzymes, yeast or acid added during production.
Richard Kershaw, a former chef from the UK, is South Africa’s only winemaking Master of Wine.

Warwick Wine Estate: A family-owned estate located in the Stellenbosch region of South Africa, Warwick Estates started with Cabernet Sauvignon; now, it produces a variety of white and red wines that are popular around the world. Stan Ratcliffe purchased the estate with his wife, Norma in 1964; Canadian-born, Norma’s interest in wine grew and she quickly became South Africa’s first female winemaker and the first woman to join the Cape Winemakers Guild.

Marianne Wine Estate: This Stellenbosch estate in South Africa is owned by Frenchman Christian Dauriac, owner of three estates in Saint-Émilion and Pomerol. Christian travels back and forth to South Africa to work with the team at Marianne Wine Estate with help from consultant and friend Michel Rolland. The link with Bordeaux shows through in the wines. The aim at Marianne Estate Wine is to produce bold, fruit-forward wines with well-integrated soft tannins and aging potential, making them suitable for wine collectors. A minimum of three years passes between harvest and release of any wine. Wines are aged in French oak barrels imported to South Africa by Dauriac.

Vilafonté : Vilafonté wine estate is a joint venture between Californians Zelma Long, previously President of Simi Winery in Alexander Valley, her husband, renowned viticulturist Phil Freese, who in a past life designed and planted the first vineyards at Napa Valley’s Opus One, and Mike Ratcliffe, who produces top-notch, super plush wines. The 42-hectare estate lies in the shadow of Simonsberg Mountain in the Paarl region and is named after its unique Vilafonté soil, one of the oldest recorded soil types in the world and has been defined as being somewhere between 750 000 and 1.5 million years old.

Grotte Post: Groote Post is an 18th century farm in South Africa’s Darling region, close to the Cape’s west coast. This enclave within Swartland is exposed to the cool influence of the Atlantic Ocean. Winemaking traditions have been revived by the Pentz family (Nick and Peter Pentz), who were originally dairymen. Historically, Groote Post was the largest guarding post protecting cattle from marauding stock thieves. Now, the family focus is on wine production. The cool conditions and unique aspect of the estate yield high quality grapes.

Hamba Kahle

The Wine Regions

Coastal : The Coastal Region is an important South African wine growing area. It is the birthplace of the country’s viticulture. The area accounts for almost half of the vineyards in the entire country. It extends from Darling in the north to Constantia in the south, to Stellenbosch and Paarl in the east and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean in the west. The Coastal Region’s climate is therefore influenced by both ocean and mountains.
Many grape varieties are grown in the Coastal Region. Pinotage, Shiraz and Chenin Blanc do well near the mountains, while Sauvignon Blanc thrives along the coast. In the more southern part of the region, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are often blended together in the Bordeaux style.

Darling Hills:  The Darling Hills wine region in South Africa is located only ten miles from the Atlantic Ocean, bringing the easterly breezes to the region to keep temperatures low. A lot of annual rainfall affects the region but the temperature can reach up to 30°C in the summer. The vineyards produce a low to medium yield, producing wines with intense and full-bodied flavours. The most popular grapes grown in Darling Hills are Pinot Noir, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, although Sauvignon Blanc can be very successful there.

Elgin: Elgin is the only wine region in South Africa completely surrounded by mountains. It is South Africa’s ultimate cool-climate region, and is often covered by clouds, trapped by the nearby mountains. This brings the region more rainfall and cooler temperatures, allowing for a long ripening season.  The soil profile also varies, with gravel, sandstone, clay and weathered shale all contributing to the terroir. There are 7000 hectares of farming land in the valley, with 6000 hectares of orchards and only 800 hectares of vineyards. The Elgin Valley is also home to a number of wine farms, which do so well as a result of the cool climate, low pH of the soil and plentiful rainfall.

Simonsberg Paarl : Paarl is one of South Africa’s most famous wine-producing areas. Just north of Stellenbosch, and 60 kilometers from Cape Town, it is home to some of the Western Cape’s best-known wineries. The Simonsberg Mountain provides well-drained granite soils whereas the Berg River Valley has sandstone-based soils. Vines have to take root deeper for nourishment, making them stronger and reducing yields. Wines that are produced from vineyards higher up on the Paarl and Simonsberg Mountains tend to be of a more premium quality because of this.

Stellenbosch : The Stellenbosch wine region is considered the capital of South African wine production. Stellenbosch is home to the country’s oldest wine route, based on the French “Route des vins” and was established in 1971. The region has a Mediterranean climate with hot dry summers and cool wet winters. Stellenbosch lies at the foot of the Cape Fold mountain range, which provides soil favourable to viticulture. Grapes grown in this area are mainly used for wine production, as opposed to table grapes. The region possesses a wide range of soils in the area, from light, sandy soils to decomposed granite.

Wellington :
Wellington is a wine district in South Africa. The town of Wellington is located in the Western Cape region, 60 kilometres north-west of Cape Town. It sits at the foot of the Groenberg Mountain, on the banks of the Kromme River. Vines were first planted there in the middle of the 18th century, when French Huguenot settlers arrived in the region. The surrounding mountains and Mediterranean climate influence the wines made in Wellington. Hot days and cooler evenings allow grapes to ripen slowly and develop concentrated flavours, while retaining some acidity. Soils are dry, leading to a lower grape yield and a high concentration of flavour. Wellington is an important producer of young vines.

Western Cape : The Western Cape wine region, in South Africa, is home to Stellenbosch and Paarl. It is located around Cape Town, which acts as the epicenter of the region. The first vineyards in the area date back to the 17th century and the arrival of the first European settlers. Vineyards are generally located close to the coast, where the Atlantic Ocean influences the climate: oceanic currents cool the winds, which in turn lower the temperature in the area. The climate can be rainy, but is mostly Mediterranean. The Western Cape is known for its Bordeaux blends and Pinotage wines.