2020 Perold Absa Cape Blend finalists announced

There is immense anticipation among wine enthusiasts as this year’s Perold Absa Cape Blend finalists are announced.

Since its inception in 2011 , this competition has grown in stature with wine producers embracing the opportunity to create uniquely South African red blends with Pinotage as its key component. This wine category has increased its relevance on the global stage and has become a key offering in the wine ranges of some South African wine producers.

Four wineries have also made the finalists list of this year’s Absa Top 10 Pinotage competition which is always an exceptional achievement for the winemaking teams. These wineries are Anura , Rijk’s , Wellington Wines La Cave and Viljoensdrift from Robertson.

Tim Atkin Report SA Wine Report puts Simonsig quality in the spotlight

A handful of wines from the pioneering Stellenbosch winery has again been placed among South Africa’s best in an acclaimed annual report by UK-based wine journalist and Master of Wine, Tim Atkin, highlighting Simonsig quality.

Using the international 100-point scoring system, Tim picked his favourites this year to include Simonsig’s The Garland 2015, which rated 92; Chenin Avec Chêne 2018, 90; Cuvée Royale 2017, 91; Frans Malan 2016, 90; and, Tiara 2016, 92.

“Naturally, we’re happy with this latest achievement,” says Michael Malan, the third generation Simonsig winemaker who heads up red wine production. “Our winemaking tradition has always been rooted in a commitment to produce wines of international standard..."

The new Ernie Els Cellar Door is open

After a lengthy period of extensive renovations, we are now overjoyed to welcome you to our iconic new winery. Thoughtfully selected for its prime position, Ernie Els Winery is framed by panoramic views of Cape Town and Table Mountain to the west and Stellenbosch and the Helderberg Mountains to the east.

A passage beyond our grand granite boulders and through our wooden farmhouse-style doors will lead you into our homely, expansive Tasting Room and Restaurant where you will be rewarded with exceptional wines and hearty farm-style cuisine.

A prestigious Wine Cellar, with its vast concrete tanks and rows of maturation barrels, forms the vivid heart of a winery that expertly balances enduring hospitality with state-of-the-art facilities.

TOKARA touchdown in Tim Atkin’s 2020 SA Special Report

TOKARA has swept the board with all six wines tasted by Tim Atkin for his much anticipated South African 2020 Special Report shooting the lights out on 93 points or higher and two wines ranked among his wines of the year.

The top performers on 95/100, Atkin’s elite ranking comparable with the best in the world, are TOKARA’s flagship Director’s Reserve White and Red blends from the standout 2017 vintage. Both wines made the cut as a Wine of the Year in the Bordeaux Blend categories. Next up is the Reserve Collection Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 on 94 points followed by the 93 point contenders, the 2019 Chardonnay, the 2019 Elgin Sauvignon Blanc and the 2016 Syrah, all from the TOKARA Reserve Collection.

Frans Malan, pioneer of Cap Classique, the sparkling wine celebrated on September 1st…

There always has to be a pioneer, one who takes the leap of faith, believing in the cause. Frans Malan was one of these.

In the early 70s he was experimenting with the second fermentation in the bottle, known as Methode Champenoise. Kaapse Vonkel became a legend in Frans’s lifetime. Today his sons Francois and Johan carry on the family tradition and with Charl Schoeman, their Cap Classique Maker, have broadened the range from the original Kaapse Vonkel Brut to Rosé, Demi Sec white and Rosé. They use Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinotage, South Africa’s own red wine grape.

Next year, 2021 celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the first bottling. Boschendal’s Achim von Arnim and very quickly afterwards followed by Jeff Grier of Villiera.

Melvyn Minnaar: The great art of La Motte

If it is my choice, I’ll take the fourth bottle in the six pack of the La Motte Pierneef Sauvignon Blanc 2019. Even though I’m not a great SB fan, this version is polished in a kind of French manner. But the reason for choosing No 4 in the box is personal: on the label is a stamp-sized picture of the Old Harbour of Hermanus, my town of origin.

What’s more, the pretty little image of the cracked old fishing haven (where my father many decades ago brought in a kabeljou that needed two men to carry) is a lino-cut print by J.H. Pierneef.

Jacob Hendrik Pierneef (1886-1957) was a one-of-a-kind artist who lyrically documented the spread of the South African landscape in a unique style – and is now one of the most sought-after names for art collectors.

TOKARA Cabernet Sauvignon cracks UK Top 100 list

TOKARA’s highly acclaimed Reserve Collection Cabernet Sauvignon from the standout 2017 vintage has staked its claim on the international stage with a Top 100 ranking in the United Kingdom.

This phenomenal wine also earned critical acclaim from the French with a 91 point medal in the 2020 Gilbert & Gaillard International Challenge, and was lauded Top 10 on home turf in the 2020 Prescient Cabernet Sauvignon Report.

The Wine Merchant Top 100 wine list is published annually in The Wine Merchant Magazine, the UK’s only trade publication devoted entirely to specialist independent wine retailers. The wines are judged exclusively by independent UK retailers.

A word of thanks from Simonsig Wine Estate

To say 2020 has been a torrid time is an understatement, but it has shown the mettle of South Africans. While the regulations on the industry have been relieved, we continue to stand in solidarity with the wider hospitality industry on the journey to recovery.

In terms of our own industry, the international #SaveSAWine campaign helped put our plight and much-needed exports in stark focus. We share the industry’s gratitude for the support from our international friends.

To see who many of them are, visit us at to locate our agents in Europe, the UK, Africa & Middle East, Americas, Asia and Australia.

Alcohol ban lifted, but still a long road to recovery ahead for SA wine industry

The South African wine industry acknowledges tonight’s announcement by president Ramaphosa to resume local trade and distribution of alcohol under alert level 2 from midnight 17 August 2020, but says the industry still has a long road to recovery.

“Although we are grateful to start trading and delivering online sales again, we are dismayed at the extent of the damage caused to our industry during the temporary ban on exports and extended restrictions on local sales,” says Rico Basson, MD of the wine industry organisation Vinpro.

“It might be too little too late. Many wine businesses have already closed down and a long road to recovery lies ahead for the industry as a whole,” says Basson.