Cape South Coast

Cape South Coast

33° 19' 60" S


19° 40' 0" E




about this region

Nestled at the southernmost edge of the African continent, the Cape South Coast wine region of South Africa stands as a prestigious emblem within the nation's wine industry, renowned for its breathtaking natural landscapes and its temperate maritime climate. This splendid region is celebrated for cultivating an array of noble grape varieties, notably the internationally revered Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc, among others. The region's distinctive terroir, marked by a rich diversity of soil types and the invigorating breezes emanating from the Atlantic Ocean, plays a pivotal role in fostering the development of wines distinguished by their intricate flavor nuances and remarkable complexity.The Cape South Coast wine region is home to six unique wine regions: Cape Agulhas, Elgin, Overberg, Plettenberg Bay, Swellendam and Walker Bay.

The Cape South Coast is geographically delineated, with the Coastal Region lying to its west, acting as a harmonious counterpart that extends the influence of oceanic conditions. To its north, the region is flanked by the Breede River Valley and the Klein Karoo, areas renowned for their production of robust, fruit-forward wines and sumptuous port-style wines. This confluence of neighboring regions contributes to a viticultural synergy, elevating the Cape South Coast's prestige within the international wine domain.

This wine region is not only a bastion of quality and tradition but also a hub of innovation and excellence in viticulture and oenology. The dedication of its vintners and the distinctiveness of its terroir have earned the Cape South Coast numerous accolades, further enhancing South Africa's esteemed position on the global wine stage.


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Vineyard Hectares




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Discover Terroir

The Cape South Coast wine region, located along the southern coast of South Africa, is a breathtaking tapestry of natural beauty and viticultural excellence. Situated between the majestic Atlantic and Indian Oceans, this region encompasses an expansive stretch of coastline, boasting a diverse landscape that ranges from rugged cliffs to verdant valleys.

The undulating hillsides of the Cape South Coast are adorned with meticulously tended vineyards, their rows of vines following the contours of the land. Against the backdrop of the azure ocean, these vineyards create a mesmerizing mosaic of greenery, punctuated by bursts of color during the flowering season.

The maritime influence on the climate of the Cape South Coast is profound, with cool ocean breezes tempering the warmth of the sun. This moderating effect creates ideal conditions for grape cultivation, allowing for a longer growing season and the gradual ripening of grapes, which in turn contributes to the complexity and depth of the wines produced in the region.

As one traverses inland from the coast, the landscape transitions from coastal plains to rolling hills and valleys, each offering its own unique microclimate and soil composition. Along the way, pockets of indigenous fynbos vegetation thrive, adding splashes of vibrant color and fragrance to the surroundings. These diverse ecosystems not only contribute to the region's scenic beauty but also play a crucial role in preserving its ecological balance.

The rugged coastline of the Cape South Coast is characterized by sheer cliffs, rocky outcrops, and secluded coves, providing a dramatic backdrop for vineyards and wineries alike. From elevated points over sea level, visitors can marvel at panoramic views of the ocean, where the horizon seems to stretch endlessly into the distance.

In conclusion, the Cape South Coast wine region is not only a feast for the senses but also a testament to the harmonious relationship between nature and winemaking. Its stunning landscapes, influenced by the surrounding oceans, create an unparalleled terroir that gives rise to some of South Africa's most distinguished wines.

Nestled at the southernmost tip of the African continent, Cape South Coast, one of the most renowned wine regions of South Africa, stands as a testament to the remarkable interplay between nature and winemaking. Blessed with a maritime climate that is unrivaled in its coolness and distinction, this region has earned its place as one of South Africa's premier wine-producing areas. The proximity to the ocean is a defining feature of the Cape South Coast, with cool breezes and mists drifting inland, casting a soothing blanket over the vineyards, particularly in renowned districts like Elgin.

These maritime influences bestow upon the Cape South Coast a temperate climate that is ideal for grape cultivation. The long, slow ripening periods afforded by this climate allow the grapes to leisurely develop their flavors, resulting in wines of exceptional depth and complexity. Furthermore, the consistent coolness helps to preserve the grapes' natural acidity – a hallmark of quality wines that adds vibrancy and balance to the finished product.

Amidst the vast expanse of the Cape South Coast, certain districts have emerged as beacons of premium wine production, none more so than Walker Bay and Elgin. Walker Bay, celebrated for its Burgundy-style Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, as well as its crisp, flinty Sauvignon Blanc, benefits from the region's abundant sunshine and refreshing south-easterly breezes. These climatic conditions work in harmony to nurture the grapes to perfection, imbuing them with intense flavors and an unmistakable sense of place.

In summary, the Cape South Coast owes much of its success as a wine-producing region to its unique climate and geography. The cool maritime influences, coupled with diverse soil compositions, provide an ideal foundation for winemakers to express their creativity and craft wines of unparalleled distinction. It is this harmonious blend of natural elements and human ingenuity that has propelled the Cape South Coast to the forefront of South Africa's wine industry, earning global recognition for its wines' quality, complexity, and undeniable sense of terroir.

The Cape South Coast wine region of South Africa stands as a beacon of excellence in viticulture, thanks in large part to the remarkable diversity of its soil types. This region's unique terroir is a tapestry woven from a blend of geological formations, each contributing to the distinct character and complexity of its wines.

  1. Sandy Shale and Clay: Among the most prevalent soil types throughout the Cape South Coast are sandy shale and clay, distinguished by their high clay content. This unique blend offers the best of both worlds, providing excellent drainage while also retaining moisture effectively. The result is a soil type that is highly conducive to the growth of grapevines, fostering vines that produce wines rich in flavor and complexity. Particularly notable is the presence of clay, which plays a vital role during the region's dry summers, ensuring that vines have access to moisture deep within the soil, thereby sustaining healthy growth and development.
  2. Clay Soil: The Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, a prominent wine-producing area within the Cape South Coast, is celebrated for its clay soil vineyards. Bearing a striking resemblance to the terroir found in Northern France, these clay soils provide an ideal environment for cultivating Pinot Noir and Chardonnay varietals. The dense, moisture-retentive nature of clay soils allows for a slow and steady ripening process, enabling the grapes to develop deep, nuanced flavors and lending itself to the production of complex red wine blends of exceptional quality and depth.

The diverse array of soil types found within the Cape South Coast, ranging from sandy shale and clay to the specific clay soils of the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, serves as a cornerstone in shaping the region's wine profile. This remarkable variety affords vintners the opportunity to experiment with a broad spectrum of grape varietals, each benefiting from the unique properties of these soils. The result is a rich tapestry of wines that reflect the geological richness and viticultural heritage of the Cape South Coast, each bottle telling a story of the land from which it originates.


The Cape South Coast wine region, renowned for its unique terroir influenced by the cool maritime climate, is home to a variety of grapes that thrive under its specific conditions. Here's an in-depth look at the most common grape varieties found in this region:

  1. Syrah: Syrah is a grape variety known for producing bold, flavorful wines with deep color and complex aromas. It typically requires a warm climate to fully ripen its grapes, but it also benefits significantly from cool evenings, which help to retain acidity and enhance flavor development. In the Cape South Coast, the combination of warm days and cool nights creates an ideal environment for cultivating exceptional Syrah grapes. The region's diverse soils and microclimates further contribute to the complexity and character of Syrah wines produced here, with each subregion offering its own unique expression of the varietal.
  2. Pinot Noir: Pinot Noir is revered for its delicate flavors, silky texture, and ability to reflect its terroir. It thrives in cooler climates, where the grapes can ripen slowly and evenly, allowing for optimal flavor development. The Cape South Coast's proximity to the ocean brings maritime breezes and fog that help to moderate temperatures and extend the growing season, creating ideal conditions for producing high-quality Pinot Noir. Additionally, the region's diverse range of soil types, from shale and sandstone to clay and limestone, adds further complexity to Pinot Noir wines, allowing for a wide spectrum of flavors and styles.
  3. Pinotage: Pinotage is a uniquely South African grape variety, bred as a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsaut. It is well-suited to the varying climates of the Cape South Coast, requiring warmth for sugar development and cooler temperatures to maintain acidity and structure. The region's diverse terroir allows for the cultivation of Pinotage grapes with varying ripeness levels and flavor profiles, from fruit-forward and spicy to earthy and savory. Pinotage wines from the Cape South Coast often exhibit bold flavors, robust tannins, and a distinctive South African character that sets them apart from other red varietals.
  4. Cabernet Sauvignon: Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most widely planted grape varieties in the world, known for its bold flavors, firm tannins, and aging potential. It thrives in warmer climates but requires cooler temperatures during the night to slow the ripening process and develop complexity. Certain parts of the Cape South Coast, particularly those with well-drained soils and good sun exposure, provide the ideal conditions for growing Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. Here, the grapes can achieve optimal ripeness while retaining acidity, resulting in wines that are rich, concentrated, and well-balanced.
  5. Merlot: Merlot is celebrated for its soft, velvety texture, lush fruit flavors, and approachable style. It prefers a balance of warm days and cool nights, which allow for slow maturation and the development of complexity. In the Cape South Coast, the region's maritime climate and diverse terroir provide the perfect conditions for cultivating high-quality Merlot grapes. From the cooler coastal areas to the warmer inland valleys, Merlot wines from the Cape South Coast showcase a range of flavors and styles, from bright and fruity to rich and full-bodied.
  6. Chardonnay: Chardonnay is a versatile grape variety that can thrive in a range of climates and soil types. It is known for producing wines with a wide spectrum of flavors, from crisp and refreshing to rich and creamy. In the Cape South Coast, Chardonnay vines benefit from the region's cool maritime climate, which helps to preserve acidity and enhance flavor development. The diverse range of soils, from sandy loam to clay and limestone, adds further complexity to Chardonnay wines, allowing for a diverse array of styles to be produced.
  7. Sauvignon Blanc: Sauvignon Blanc is prized for its vibrant acidity, aromatic intensity, and refreshing citrus and tropical fruit flavors. It thrives in cooler climates, where the grapes can retain their natural acidity and develop complex flavors. The Cape South Coast's maritime influences, with cool ocean breezes and fog, create ideal conditions for growing Sauvignon Blanc grapes. The region's diverse terroir, from sandy soils near the coast to gravelly and clay-based soils inland, adds further complexity to Sauvignon Blanc wines, resulting in wines that are crisp, vibrant, and expressive of their unique origin.

Overall, the Cape South Coast wine region offers a rich tapestry of grape varieties, each expressing its own unique characteristics and reflecting the region's diverse terroir. From bold reds to crisp whites and sparkling wines, there's something for every palate to discover and enjoy in this dynamic and exciting wine region.

The Cape South Coast wine region of South Africa is celebrated for its unique climate and geography, which contribute to the production of a diverse range of high-quality wines. This coastal region benefits from the cooling breezes of the Atlantic Ocean, creating a cooler climate that is ideal for growing a variety of grape types. The result is a collection of wines that are as complex and nuanced as the landscape from which they hail. Here's a closer look at some of the most common wines from the Cape South Coast and their aromatic and flavor profiles:

  1. Syrah/Shiraz: This wine is known for its versatility, displaying a spectrum of flavors that range from ripe, full-bodied and fruit-forward (Shiraz) to more restrained, acidic, and elegant (Syrah). The cooler climate Syrahs from this region may exhibit peppery notes and a refined structure, while the warmer areas produce Shiraz with lush plum, tar, and leather aromas, occasionally accented by chocolate when oak-aged.
  2. Merlot: The Merlot from the Cape South Coast is appreciated for its smooth, fruity character, often showcasing a luscious, velvety palate. While it can be overshadowed by its more illustrious blending partner, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot here proves its capability to stand alone, producing wines with a depth that reflects the terroir's diversity.
  3. Pinot Noir: Reflecting the cooler aspects of the region, Pinot Noir here can range from light and elegant to more structured and complex. These wines often carry the essence of red berries, cherries, and earthy undertones, with the cooler terroir contributing to their finesse and subtlety. Pinot Noir from the Cape South Coast is celebrated for its ability to convey the nuanced differences in microclimates and soils across the region.
  4. Chardonnay: Offering a wide stylistic range due to its adaptability, Chardonnay from the Cape South Coast can vary from minerally and unoaked versions to those that are buttery, fruit-laden, and enriched by oak aging. The region's Chardonnays can express a broad palette of flavors, from crisp apple and melon in the cooler areas to tropical fruit in the warmer locales, with textural descriptors ranging from steely to creamy.
  5. Sauvignon Blanc: This variety thrives in the cool climate of the Cape South Coast, producing wines that are crisp, vibrant, and aromatic. Characteristic flavors include grassy and herbaceous notes, alongside gooseberry and nettles, with an underpinning of zesty acidity. The maritime influence often adds a distinctive minerality and freshness to these wines.

The Cape South Coast's wines are a testament to the rich and varied landscape of the region, offering wine enthusiasts a plethora of tasting experiences. From the robust and hearty to the subtle and delicate, the wines of the Cape South Coast hold a special place in the pantheon of South African winemaking, capturing the essence of the terroir in each bottle.




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top varietal

Syrah, Pinot Noir, Pinotage, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay,Sauvignon Blanc

History of wine

The rich tapestry of the Cape South Coast wine region is intricately woven into the broader narrative of South African winemaking, a heritage that traces its origins back to the 17th century. The seeds of the South African wine industry were first sown with the arrival of the Dutch in the mid-1600s, as Jan van Riebeeck, a surgeon and administrator of the Dutch East India Company, planted the region's inaugural vineyards in 1652. These vineyards were established not only to produce wine but also to cultivate grapes for the ships passing the treacherous Cape of Good Hope, serving as a vital source of sustenance to prevent scurvy among sailors.

However, it was the arrival of French Huguenots in 1688, fleeing religious persecution in their homeland, that brought a new level of expertise and passion to South African viticulture. Settling in the picturesque Drakenstein Valley, which would later become known as Franschhoek, or "French Corner," these skilled winemakers quickly established themselves as pioneers in the field. Within just two decades, their influence had propelled the region to the forefront of South Africa's wine production, surpassing even the established Constantia Valley and Stellenbosch in terms of both quantity and quality.

As centuries passed, the Cape South Coast, along with its neighboring regions of Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, and Paarl, evolved into internationally acclaimed wine-producing areas, celebrated for their diverse range of wines and stunning natural landscapes. Each region boasts its own unique terroir, microclimate, and cultural influences, shaped by the cooling breezes of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. This maritime influence has facilitated the cultivation of a wide array of grape varieties, with a particular emphasis on those suited to cooler climates, such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir.

Within the Cape South Coast lies an assortment of distinct districts, including Overberg, Plettenberg Bay, Swellendam, and Walker Bay, each contributing to the region's diversity and complexity. These districts are part of the broader wine-producing regions of the Western Cape, collectively comprising an array of wine districts and wards. Together, they form the vibrant tapestry of South African winemaking, characterized by centuries of innovation, cultural fusion, and a deep reverence for the land.

Today, the Cape South Coast wine region stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of South Africa's wine heritage. It embodies a harmonious blend of historical depth and contemporary excellence, with its vineyards and wineries continuing to push boundaries, innovate, and produce wines of unparalleled quality and distinction. As guardians of this esteemed tradition, the winemakers of the Cape South Coast remain steadfast in their commitment to preserving and celebrating the rich cultural tapestry that defines South African wine.