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Wines from Stellenbosch


An Important Wine Region of South Africa

As some of you might know, the wine production in South Africa is concentrated around the regions of Cape Town.

Of these, some of the major vineyards, as well as the wine production centres, are located in ‘Stellenbosch’ which is located in the Western coastal regions of Cape Town.

Wine grape varieties

This important wine region of South Africa is well-known for its popular wine estates and is known among the people as the second oldest wine producing region of South Africa.

Aren’t you excited to know more about the wines from Stellenbosch region?

First Things about Stellenbosch Wine Region

Stellenbosch is contributing almost 14% of the total wine production in South Africa in a year.

Located at a distance of just 25 miles in the east from the Cape Town, this region is enclosed by the following mountains which are known to give the suitable climatic conditions for the growth of wine grapes in this region:

  • Helderberg
  • Simonsberg
  • Stellenbosch Mountains

Apart from the effects of mountains, the climate in Stellenbosch is also affected by the False Bay which is known to temper the climate to keep it in the average temperature ranges during the winegrowing seasons.

Moreover, this region is known to receive enough amount of rainfall in winter thus enabling the winegrowers to keep the irrigation as minimum as possible.

In general, the climate of Stellenbosch is found to hotter and drier in spite of the maritime influence coming from the False Bay.

The vineyards of Stellenbosch are found to experience some cool breezes from the southeast during afternoons. These breezes are known to refresh the wine grapes.

The wine grapes that are planted closer to the ocean are found to have the maximum effect from these cool breezes.

Not only are the climatic conditions, the soil types in the vineyards also favouring the growth of wine grapes in these ranges.

We can find granite and sandstone soils all around the Stellenbosch wine region.

The higher clay contents in these soils are indicating that these are free-draining and hence, having some outstanding water-retaining properties.

All these conditions have made the region more suited for the cultivation of red wine grapes although white wine grapes are also found to be planted in the coastal regions of Stellenbosch.

Under Stellenbosch, there are seven wards (per WO appellations) all producing red wines.

Those wards are:

  • Banghoek
  • Bottelary
  • Devon Valley
  • Jonkershoek Valley
  • Papegaaiberg
  • Polkadraai Hills
  • Simonsberg-Stellenbosch

Alcohol and Distilleries

Wine Grapes in Stellenbosch

All the above-mentioned wards are known for red wines and the primary red grape variety used in these wines are:

  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Merlot
  • Pinotage
  • Shiraz

You can find ‘Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon’ on the wine lists all over the world.

In addition to the Cabernet Sauvignon grape variety, Stellenbosch is popular as the birthplace of the signature grape variety of South Africa ‘Pinotage’.

This was got by crossing ‘Pinot Noir’ and ‘Cinsaut’ grape varieties during the year 1924.

Some other grape varieties which are often found to be blended in the Stellenbosch wines are:

  • Chardonnay
  • Sauvignon blanc
  • Chenin blanc

Prominent Wines of Stellenbosch Wine Region

As mentioned above, Cabernet Sauvignon is known to be the king of Stellenbosch wines.

When you buy the wines from the warmer inland slopes of the ‘Simonsberg’, you can taste some muscular, richer wines whereas when you get the wines nearby the coastal regions you can taste some fresher, tighter wines.

Although you can see Cabernet Sauvignon featuring in Bordeaux wines too, Stellenbosch’s varied soils are giving more vibrant wines.

Not only Cabernet Sauvignon, you can also taste some richer Chardonnay, elegant whites, and full-bodied Shiraz wines here!


Michael Bredahl

Michael Bredahl

Wine Writer

Michael is an online enthusiast, with a lot of knowledge about online marketing. Traveling around the world to hunt for the perfect wine. Latest on Sicily, where Etna has a huge impact on the taste, which is strong with a bitter aftertaste for the youngest wines, but older wines are fantastic. Drinking wine, and writing about them, are one the passions. Remember to drink responsibly 🙂

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