Do-it-yourself classic Cape red wine tour

New to South African red wine, or want to discover some of the best local vineyards? Respected wine judge and certified Cape Wine Master Winnie Bowman suggests some of the classic estates to visit in and around Stellenbosch in the Cape winelands.

“The very finest Cabernet Sauvignon in South Africa comes from Stellenbosch. It’s the best area for growing Cabernet, with a wide range of conditions. If you can, taste your way from the cooler Helderberg across to the warmer, inland Simonsberg.

Le Riche Wines must be number one on your list for Cabernet, but one of the most exciting Cabernets at the moment is from Stark-Condé: their Three Pines Cabernet Sauvignon is outstanding. It’s a modern style of Cabernet Sauvignon that can hold its head high.

The Cabernets from Grangehurst are also superb, as are those from Kleine Zalze.

Pinotage is obviously a big drawcard for visitors. L’Avenir and Kanonkop would be my two go-to producers for Pinotage. Kanonkop got incredible results at the recent International Wine and Spirits Challenge for their Black Label Pinotage, but even their regular Pinotage is superb. The wines from Beyers Truter, the winemaker at Beyerskloof, are also worth discovering.

Spier Wine Farm also makes an incredible range of Pinotage, from entry-level wines to their premium 21 Gables. They also make a range of niche wines that you can only taste at the farm. They’re all utterly drinkable and utterly collectable.”

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