Registered wine estates, unregistered estates, non-estates… How much does it matter?

GOING BY the last count in 2014, South Africa has some 3300 farms on which grapes are being grown for making wine and there are around 550 wineries in the various regions, districts and wards. According to industry data published by SAWIS, about 200 farms are registered for the production of Estate Wine – wine that is grown, produced and bottled on the same farm – yet many of them don’t refer to ‘estate’ or ‘estate wine’ on some or any of their labels, leaving themselves the option of using grapes grown somewhere other than on the land associated with the brand. And diluting the meaning/value of the term is that there are certain wine producers who describe their properties as estates without having registered them as such.

Of South Africa’s most successful wine farms, those listed below are registered for the production of Estate Wine, with some having names that beg the question ‘why bother to register?’ Whereas there are many wine lovers who are disappointed if they discover that a favourite isn’t made where or how they thought it was, there are also many who aren’t at all fussed about origin and who might even feel that grapes coming from a different location relative to that of the cellar enhances the interest value. For the legislation pertaining to Estate Wine (as well as Single Vineyard Wine), click here.

TOP ‘WINE ESTATES’ IN CONSTANTIA, TOKAI
Groot Constantia Estate
Klein Constantia
Steenberg Vineyards

TOP ‘WINE ESTATES’ IN DURBANVILLE
De Grendel
Diemersdal Wine Estate

TOP ‘WINE ESTATES’ IN ELGIN
Paul Cluver Wines

TOP ‘WINE ESTATES’ IN FRANSCHHOEK
Boschendal
La Motte

TOP ‘WINE ESTATES’ OUTSIDE HERMANUS
Bouchard Finlayson
Creation Wines
Hamilton Russell Vineyards
Newton Johnson Family Vineyards
Sumaridge Estate

TOP ‘WINE ESTATES’ IN PAARL
Fairview
Laborie
Nederburg (Johann Graue)

TOP ‘WINE ESTATES’ IN ROBERTSON, BONNIEVALE
Bon Courage Estate
De Wetshof Estate
Graham Beck Wines
Weltevrede Estate

TOP ‘WINE ESTATES’ IN SOMERSET WEST, SIR LOWRY’S PASS
Journey’s End
Lourensford Estate
Morgenster Estate
Vergelegen

TOP ‘WINE ESTATES’ IN STELLENBOSCH
Beyerskloof
Delheim (Vera Cruz)
DeMorgenzon
Hartenberg Wine Estate
Jordan Wine Estate
Kaapzicht Wine Estate
Kanonkop Wine Estate
Kleine Zalze
L’Avenir
Laibach
Meerlust Estate
Neethlingshof Estate
Quoin Rock
Rust en Vrede Estate
Simonsig Wine Estate
Stark-Condé Wines (Oude Nektar)
Thelema Mountain Vineyards
Tokara
Uva Mira Mountain Vineyards
Warwick Estate
Waterford Estate

TOP ‘WINE ESTATES’ IN TULBAGH
Fable Mountain Vineyards
Krone (Twee Jonge Gezellen)
Rijk’s

For the names of all units registered for the production of Estate Wine in South Africa, click here.