Top 20 SA Wineries: 2018 ranking compared to that of 2005

BACK IN THE DAY, when the first SA Wine & Cellar Classification was published, the top producers were Classified as Boekenhoutskloof, De Toren, De Trafford, Graham Beck, Jordan, Kanonkop, Kanu, Neil Ellis, Rust en Vrede, Rustenberg, Simonsig, Stellenzicht, Thelema, and Vergelegen. Thirteen years later, most of these cellars continue at the forefront of the South African wine industry as regards top quality and interest value in the opinion of the top judging panels locally and around the world.

The Syrah of Boekenhoutskloof in Franschhoek remains among the Top 10 in its class and one of the Top 100 most highly rated wines of the Cape over the past 10 years. From Robertson, Graham Beck Brut Blanc de Blancs is one of the Top 6 sparkling Cap Classiques. In 2017, Neil Ellis on the Helshoogte in Stellenbosch was one of the most successful South African cellars on the world stage, particularly with their Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinotage. While in Koelenhof, Stellenbosch, Simonsig ranks as both Cap Classique supremo and reigning Pinotage heavyweight.

Of the Top 20 SA Cellars in 2018, based on panel ratings spanning the period 2008 to 2017, four were on the scroll of honour published in 2005. Jordan of Stellenbosch Kloof is a Chardonnay champion with two wines in the Top 10 and among South Africa’s Top 100 wines overall. On the Simonsberg in Stellenbosch, Kanonkop is right up there with their Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinotage and Paul Sauer blend. Rustenberg, also on the Simonsberg, have two outstanding Chardonnays, a top Cabernet Sauvignon and now also one of the Top 10 SA Shiraz – all of which are included among the country’s Top 100 most highly rated wines. While Vergelegen, on the Helderberg in Somerset West, produces a world-class range with an exceptional white that ranks among the Top 10 blends and the Top 100 most highly rated wines of the Cape – a shoo-in to the Top Wine SA Hall of Fame.


Cape Point Vineyards – Noordhoek
Classified Wines: Chardonnay, Sauvignon, Reserve Sauvignon (Top 10), Woolworths Sauvignon, Semillon, Isliedh White Blend (Top 10), CWG Auction Reserve White Blend

Cederberg Private Cellar
Classified Wines: Chenin, Five Generations Chenin, Waitrose Chenin, Sauvignon (Top 10), Ghost Corner Sauvignon (Top 10), Ghost Corner Wild Ferment Sauvignon, Ghost Corner Semillon, Ghost Corner The Bowline White Blend (Top 20), Ghost Corner Pinot Noir, Cabernet (Top 20), Five Generations Cabernet (Top 10), Shiraz (Top 10), CWG Auction Res Teen Die Hoog Shiraz, Blanc de Blanc Brut Cap Classique

Chamonix – Franschhoek
Classified Wines: Chardonnay, Reserve Chardonnay (Top 10), Sauvignon, Reserve White Blend, Reserve Pinot Noir (Top 10), Greywacke Pinotage, Troika Reserve (Red Blend)

DeMorgenzon – Stellenbosch Kloof
Classified Wines: Reserve Chardonnay, Reserve Chenin (Top 10), Maestro White Blend (Top 10), Maestro Red Blend

Eagles’ Nest – Constantia Nek
Classified Wines: Viognier, Merlot, Shiraz (Top 10)

Fleur du Cap (Bergkelder) – Stellenbosch
Classified Wines: Unfiltered Chardonnay (Top 20), Unfiltered Sauvignon, Unfiltered Limited Release Sauvignon, Unfiltered Semillon, Unfiltered Limited Release White Blend, Unfiltered Cabernet (Top 10), Unfiltered Merlot (Top 10), Shiraz, Laszlo Red Blend, Noble Late Harvest (Top 10)

Groot Constantia Estate
Classified Wines: Chardonnay (Top 10), Sauvignon Blanc, Gouverneurs Reserve White Blend, Cabernet, Merlot (Top 10), Pinotage (Top 20), Shiraz (Top 10), Gouverneurs Reserve Red Blend, Grand Constance Natural Sweet (Top 10)

Hamilton Russell Vineyards – Hemel-en-Aarde
Classified Wines: Chardonnay (Top 10), Pinot Noir (Top 10)

Jordan Wine Estate – Stellenbosch Kloof
Classified Wines: Barrel Fermented Chardonnay (Top 10), Nine Yards Chardonnay (Top 10), CWG Auction Res Chardonnay, Inspector Péringuey Chenin (Top 10), Sauvignon, The Outlier Sauvignon (Top 20), The Real McCoy Riesling, The Long Fuse Cabernet, Black Magic Merlot, The Prospector Syrah, Cobblers Hill Red Blend (Top 20), CWG Auction Res Sophia (Red Blend)

Kanonkop Wine Estate – Simonsberg-Stellenbosch
Classified Wines: Cabernet (Top 10), Pinotage (Top 10), Black Label Pinotage, Paul Sauer Red Blend (Top 10)

Klein Constantia Estate
Classified Wines: Perdeblokke Sauvignon, Cabernet, Estate (Red Blend), Brut Cap Classique (Top 10), Vin de Constance Natural Sweet (Top 10)

Kleine Zalze – Stellenbosch
Classified Wines: Vineyard Sel Chardonnay, Cellar Sel Chenin, Family Res Chenin, Vineyard Sel Chenin (Top 10), Cellar Sel Sauvignon, Family Res Sur Lie Sauvignon (Top 10), Family Res Cabernet (Top 20), Vineyard Sel Cabernet (Top 20), Family Res Shiraz (Top 10), Vineyard Sel Shiraz, Vineyard Sel Shiraz Mourvèdre Viognier, Chardonnay Pinot Noir Vintage Brut Cap Classique

La Motte – Franschhoek
Classified Wines: Chardonnay, Pierneef Sauvignon, Cabernet, Syrah, Pierneef Syrah Viogner (Top 10), Millennium (Red Blend)

Nederburg – Paarl
Classified Wines: Auction Res PB D270 Chardonnay, The Anchorman Chenin (Top 20), Auction Res PB D234 Sauvignon (Top 10), The Young Airhawk Sauvignon (Top 20), Two Centuries Sauvignon, The Winemasters Riesling, Ingenuity White Blend (Top 10), Auction Res PB D252 Sauvignon Semillon, Auction Res PB R163 Cabernet (Top 10), Two Centuries Cabernet (Top 10), The Manor House Cabernet, Auction Res PB R181 Merlot, Auction Res PB R121 Shiraz, Ingenuity Italian Blend (Red), Ingenuity Spanish Blend (Red), The Brew Master (Red Blend), The Motorcycle Marvel (Red Blend), Edelkeur Noble Late (Top 10), Emminence Noble Late (Top 10), The Winemasters Noble Late (Top 10), The Winemasters Special Late

Paul Cluver Wines – Elgin
Classified Wines: Estate Chardonnay (Top 10), Seven Flags Chardonnay, Sauvignon (Top 20), Gewürztraminer, Close Encounter Riesling, Dry Encounter Riesling, Estate Pinot Noir (Top 10), Seven Flags Pinot Noir (Top 10), Riesling Noble Late (Top 10), Marks & Spencer Riesling Noble Late

Rustenberg Wines – Simonsberg-Stellenbosch
Classified Wines: Five Soldiers Chardonnay (Top 10), Stellenbosch Chardonnay (Top 10), Peter Barlow Cabernet (Top 10), Buzzard Kloof Syrah (Top 10), Stellenbosch Shiraz, John X Merriman (Red Blend), RM Nicholson (Red Blend), Straw Wine (Top 20)

Saronsberg – Tulbagh
Classified Wines: Viognier, Shiraz (Top 10), Provenance Shiraz (Top 20), Full Circle Red Blend (Top 10), Provenance Seismic Rooi (Red Blend), Seismic (Red Blend), Brut Cap Classique (Top 20)

Stellenrust – Helderberg, Stellenbosch
Classified Wines: Barrel Fermented Chardonnay, Chenin, Barrel Fermented Chenin (Top 10), Timeless (Red Blend)

Tokara – Simonsberg-Stellenbosch
Classified Wines: Reserve Stellenbosch Chardonnay (Top 10), Sauvignon, Reserve Elgin Sauvignon (Top 10), Director’s Reserve White Blend (Top 10), Tokara Cabernet, Tokara Pinotage, Director’s Reserve Red Blend (Top 10), Reserve Noble Late (Top 20)

Vergelegen Estate – Helderberg, Somerset West
Classified Wines: Reserve Chardonnay, Schaapenberg Reserve Sauvignon, Reserve Semillon, G.V.B White Blend (Top 10 & Hall of Fame), V (Cabernet), G.V.B Red Blend


• For the names of the cellar owners and more info about South Africa’s top wineries, see here.


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