Three Centuries of Cape Wine

Important developments since 1900:


On 11 January, President Ramaphosa announced that the level 3 restrictions prohibiting the sale of alcohol for on- and off-consumption would be extended.

Wine businesses started trading again on 01 February when the third ban on local liquor sales was partially lifted.

The French government bestowed a ceremonial knighthood, the Chevalier dans l’Ordre du Mérite Agricole (Knight in the Order of Agricultural Merit), on wine microbiologist Prof Benoit Divol, an associate professor in the Department of Viticulture and Oenology and the South African Grape and Wine Research Institute at Stellenbosch University.

The Stellenbosch Wine Routes, established in 1971 and the oldest wine route in the country, celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

South Africa’s first ever Cap Classique – the iconic Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel – celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. At R3 per bottle in 1971, it was the most expensive wine on the market in South Africa at the time.

A rare bottle of Grand Constance 1821 reached a record-breaking R420 000 at the Cape Fine & Rare Wine Auction on 22 May. This is one of roughly eight bottles known to still exist globally, from an allocation originally destined for the Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte.

As the country prepared to enter a level 3 lockdown in an effort to reduce the severity of the third wave of covid-19 infections spreading across the country, various measures including a stricter curfew and limited trading hours for the sale of alcohol for home consumption were announced on 15 June.

At the inaugural CWG Protégé Programme Auction, hosted online by Bonhams, bidding concluded at a generous total of R455 700 with South African wine buyers dominating sales. 

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the introduction of a level 4 lockdown across South Africa on 27 June, banning the sale of alcohol for 14 days among other measures.

In his address to the nation on 11 July, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that level 4 lockdown regulations would remain in place until 25 July. Adjustments included restaurants being allowed to reopen for sit-down meals but alcohol sales remained banned.

It was announced on 25 July that South Africa would return to a level 3 lockdown that included partially lifting the ban on alcohol to include sales between limited hours at licensed off-site retailers and for on-site consumption.

The South African Wine Industry Transformation Unit (SAWITU) took the first step in securing a sustainable future for black-owned enterprises by signing a lease agreement with the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) that secures space in the Nietvoorbij Cellar Complex for the development of a first-of-its-kind brand home for black-owned enterprises.

South Africa’s Covid-19 status moved from level 3 to an adjusted level 2 as from 13 September 2021, further easing restrictions on the sale of alcohol.

On 14 September, multiple records were smashed on the Strauss & Co Live Auction which included five single bottle lots of South African wines, most notably a bottle of Grand Constance 1821 that fetched a staggering R967 300 (including commission), doubling an earlier record achieved at the Cape Fine & Rare Wine Auction in May this year.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on 30 September that the country would move to an adjusted level 1 lockdown at midnight. This lifted alcohol restrictions with the proviso of no alcohol sales after 23:00 in adherence to the curfew. 

Access the Wine Industry Covid-19 Pandemic Timeline infographic here.

The 37th Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild (CWG) Auction and its Protégé Programme Charity Auction, conducted online by Bonhams, raised a collective sum of R10 411 000. The CWG Auction raised R9 856 500 with a total of 1 734 six-bottle cases. The average price per case amounted to R5 684, with an average price for red wines of R6 016 and R4 697 for white wines. The CWG Programme Auction, the second to have been held this year, concluded with a total of R554 500. 

Vilafonté in Paarl was named the Outstanding Wine Producer in the world at the International Wine & Spirits Competition (IWSC).

The Wine Arc, launched on 11 November, signifies the start of a new beginning and growth prospects for black-owned brands. A total of 13 brands – Aslina Wines, Bayede!, Cape Dreams, Carmen Stevens Wines, Koni Wines, La Ricmal, Libby’s Pride Wines, M’Hudi Wines, Paardenkloof Wines, Ses’fikele Wines, The Bridge of Hope Wines, Tesselaarsdal Wines and Thokozani Wines – will be participating in the pilot programme.


The Code of Commercial Communications under the auspices of (the association for alcohol responsibility and education) was launched, with the aim to provide clear guidelines for the responsible marketing of wine and other liquor products, and thereby curb alcohol abuse in communities.

The seventh Cape Wine Auction, sponsored by Nedbank Private Wealth and held at Boschendal in Franschhoek, raised over R17 million. This amount – together with the R88 million that has been raised since the first auction was held in 2014 – means that the wine charity auction has amassed a substantial R105 million since its inception.

An 11-year project at Waverley Hills came to fruition when the first Marselan grapes were harvested in South Africa on 26 February. A crossing of Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache Noir, the certified organic wine will be released in 2021.

Kleine Zalze in Stellenbosch was selected as Best Producer: South Africa at Mundus Vini, one of the foremost wine competitions in Germany.

Spier wine farm in Stellenbosch won Gold in the Responsible Business category at the 2020 Inspirational Africa Responsible Tourism Awards, it was revealed by WTM Africa.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a nationwide lockdown came into effect at midnight on Thursday 26 March until 16 April with any trade and manufacturing of alcoholic products to cease during this time. A later concession was made for the wine industry to complete harvesting and processing activities to prevent wastage during the 21-day lockdown.

On 07 April, the Minister of Transport gazetted new directions under the lockdown regulations to permit the export of wines and other fresh produce products. 

On 09 April, a two-week extension of the lockdown was announced. 

On 16 April, the second cessation of the export of finished wine was announced with restrictions tightened through a total ban on the transport of alcohol (except for the production of sanitisers and household cleaning products or industrial use). 

A deferral of the payment of excise taxes on alcoholic beverages was announced in a media statement by the National Treasury on 23 April relating to further tax measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under level 4 of lockdown, applicable from 01 May, the export of wine was allowed again, reversing the directive of 16 April. 

The triennial South African wine trade show, CapeWine, held in Cape Town and hosted by WOSA, has been moved from its planned slot in September 2021 to new dates in 2022, 5-7 October. The move is a result of the Covid-19 pandemic impacting on the planning of the event, which usually begins in earnest 18 months before the show date.

The 36th Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction, hosted by international auction house Bonhams, made history on 03 October 2020 with record average prices per case being achieved across the board. An unprecedented, challenging year called for an innovative, charitable approach that resulted in two separate, distinctive online auctions raising a total of R5.15 million. The Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction alone raised R4.1 million. New record average case prices were reached for both white wine (R5 887 per case) and red wine (R8 225 per case). The run-up Vinotheque Auction raised R816 100 to support wine industry jobs. In support of fellow guild member Samantha O’Keefe who lost her home, winery and vineyards in a devastating fire late last year, fellow members donated the income from the first case of each of their wines on auction to her. This gesture raised an amount of R223 300.

South Africa celebrated the 10th anniversary of its world-first sustainability seal, a guarantee of eco-friendly production.

On 28 December 2020, following a sudden and severe spike in positive Covid-19 cases, President Ramaphosa announced that the country would revert back to alert level 3, which prohibits the domestic sale of alcohol for on- and off-consumption, until 15 January 2021.

In one of the most challenging years ever for the South African wine industry due to the Covid-19 pandemic, overall wine exports managed to increase 7.7% in value to R9.1 billion. A total of 319.2 million litres of wine was exported despite a five-week long ban and significant challenges at the Cape Town Terminal in the Port of Cape Town. The super-premium segment showed growth of 37% in volume.


Denise Stubbs of Thokazani Wines was named among the world’s top women entrepreneurs in the 2019 Enterprising Women Awards in the winners in the ‘up to $1 million in annual sales’ category. These annual awards are run by the US-based Enterprising Women magazine.

The sixth annual Cape Wine Auction, sponsored by Nedbank Private Wealth, took place on 02 March at Buitenverwachting in Constantia and raised R14.6 million. All the proceeds are funneled towards furthering education in the Cape winelands.

This year the South African wine industry celebrated alongside the ProWein organisers as participants in the 25th edition of what is arguably one of the world’s leading wine trade fairs.

Formerly known as the Sauvignon Blanc Interest Group (SBIG), the organisation changed its name to Sauvignon Blanc South Africa.

The first Chenin Blanc International Congress, in partnership with the University of Stellenbosch and the South African Chenin Blanc Association, took place in Angers, France, from 01 to 03 July 2019.

Spier became the first winery in the world to receive Control Union Vegan Standard accreditation.

Total sales amounted to R9 404 400 at the 35th Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction with an average price of R4 873 per six-bottle case (R812 per bottle).

The first commercial block of Assyrtiko in South Africa was planted on Jordan Wine Estate in Stellenbosch.

Wines of South Africa hosted the fourth triennial Sommelier Cup with 11 international contestants competing for the title of champion at the final of this prestigious event, held at The Vineyard Hotel & Spa on 21 September.

Chenin Noir South Africa hosted the Court of Master Sommeliers UK, the first time that the prestigious Master Sommelier examination took place on the continent, making it more affordable for African sommeliers. Five certified sommeliers and 18 introductory sommeliers were welcomed.

At the Cape Fine & Rare Wine Auction, formerly known as the Nederburg Auction, collective hammer prices were captured totalling R2 623 000 and more than R223 000 was raised for this year’s beneficiary, sp(i)eel.

Stellenbosch became the first wine region in the southern hemisphere to sign the The Porto Protocol on 22 October, reaffirming the importance of sustainable environmental practices and committing the oldest wine route in South Africa to an accelerated contribution towards climate change mitigation.

Vergelegen was declared a Western Cape provincial heritage site. The iconic property was also recently voted best wine estate in Africa at the World’s Best Vineyard 2019 competition.

Overstrand Hermanus was awarded UNESCO Creative City status for Gastronomy, one of only 10 cities worldwide to be recognised by the organisation for gastronomy in 2019 and the first on the African continent to receive this distinction. 

Kanonkop Estate in Stellenbosch won the Outstanding Wine Producer Trophy at the International Wine & Spirits Competition (IWSC), the first time this prestigious trophy was awarded.

Spier won the Amorim Biodiversity Award at The Drinks Business Green Awards 2019.


The fifth annual Cape Wine Auction, sponsored by Nedbank Private Wealth, took place on 10 February at Rustenberg in Stellenbosch, raising R17.5 million.  All proceeds are allocated to education in the Cape winelands.

After many months of hard work by WOSA’s team in Asia, 02 February will now be recognised as 'South African Wine Day' in Japan.

The Old Vines Project (OVP) launched the Certified Heritage Vineyards seal that members can place on bottles of wine made from vineyards of 35 years or older, together with the planting date. The certification seal, which is a world first, guarantees authentic wines grown according to the OVP viticultural and winemaking guidelines.

US-based Eileses Capital made a significant investment in the South African winelands, purchasing two wine estates in the Simonsberg-Stellenbosch ward – Warwick, which had been owned by the Ratcliffe family for over 50 years, as well as nearby Uitkyk.

Total sales at the annual Nederburg Auction were just over R5.26 million for 6 700 litres of wine, putting the average price per bottle (750ml) at R590, an all-time record and an increase of 9% on last year’s R542 achieved.  The Charity Auction, a highlight of the Nederburg Auction weekend, also achieved a new record, raising R1.2m for the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

A total of 2 414 local and international guests registered their attendance for the triennial CapeWine that showcased wines from 352 producers under one roof from 12 to 14 September in what was arguably the most successful to date.

Total sales amounted to R10 593 760 at the 34th Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction with an average price of R5 265 per six-bottle case (R878 per bottle). The Kanonkop CWG Paul Sauer 2015 set a new record at R22 500, the highest price ever achieved for a case at the auction.


Discover South Africa by WOSA was announced the winner in the Best Trade Campaign category at The Drinks Business Asian Awards 2017.

The fourth Cape Wine Auction, sponsored by Nedbank Private Wealth, raised a record-breaking R22.3 million to further education in the winelands. A bespoke experience in the USA’s Napa Valley fetched R3 000 000, the highest figure ever paid for a lot in the auction’s history.

The Institute of Masters of Wine and international trade publication The Drinks Business  announced Eben Sadie of South Africa’s Sadie Family Wines as the winner of the 2017 Winemakers’ Winemaker Award.

A new Wine of Origin District named after Cape Town, one of the world’s foremost tourism brands, incorporates the wards of Constantia, Durbanville, Philadelphia and Hout Bay. A total of 30 wineries will join forces under Wine of Origin Cape Town.

The 43rd Nederburg Auction saw just under 8 800 litres go under the hammer, raising over R6 million and leaving no lots unsold. The Meerlust 1978 Bordeaux-style blend achieved an auction record price per litre of just over R21 300. 

Total sales exceeded R13.2 million at the 33rd Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction, which was held at Spier in Stellenbosch. A new record price for a case of wine was set when Danie Steytler’s Kaapzicht Estate The Ultimate Vision 2015 fetched the highest price ever recorded of R16 600 for a six-bottle case.

Abrie Beeslaar of Kanonkop Estate was named the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Winemaker of the Year for the third time.


The third AfrAsia Bank Cape Wine Auction raised R15 000 000 to further education in the winelands.  The Touch Warwick Cabernet Sauvignon – The Debut Lot fetched an unprecedented R1.3 million, closely followed by The Port2 Fino Lot, sponsored by online wine and spirits retailer Port2Port, which went for R1.25 million.

Sales of South African wine in the US for the 52-week period ending 16 July 2016 went up 14% by volume and showed a 25% growth in value.

South Africa earned higher prices for its wines in several key markets. While the year-on-year rand per litre price for bottled wines increased by 13% in the UK for the 12 months to August, it rose by 19% for the same period in Germany and Canada, and by 32% in the Netherlands.

Wines of South Africa staged Intrepid, its first stand-alone tasting since 2011, in the East End’s historic Tobacco Dock on 08 September. Over 138 producers showed the country’s bold and dynamic winemaking nature, creating such a buzz that it was rated as the most exciting and vibrant trade tasting of the year so far.

At the 42nd Nederburg Auction, held annually in September, record prices and an all-time high of R740 per litre were achieved. A total of 18 lots were sold, raising just over R500 000 for charity.
Wines of South Africa successfully staged the third triennial Sommelier Cup with eight contestants competing for the title of champion, which culminated in a prestigious event held at the Taj Hotel in Cape Town on 23 September.

Record sales were achieved at the 32nd Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction, held on 01 October at Spier in Stellenbosch. These amounted to R13 833 400 for 2 428 cases, almost R2 million more than the previous record, with the average price per case being R5 697 and per bottle R950.

South African winemaker Andrea Mullineux of Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines was named Winemaker of the Year by prestigious US magazine, Wine Enthusiast.

South African wine exports of R9.0 billion (428.5 million litres ) went up by 9.8 percent in 2016, driven by impressive growth in higher price points, and exceeded local sales of R7.9 billion (up 9.4%).


The second AfrAsia Bank Cape Wine Auction raised R10 485 000 for education charities in the winelands.

At The Drinks Business Green Awards 2015, Backsberg Estate Cellars won The Amorim Sustainability Award for Wine and owner Michael Back the Green Lifetime Achievement Award. 

At the 41st Nederburg Auction, held annually in September, total sales amounted to R6.163 million, holding up well against last year’s record of just over R7 million. An average price of R576 per litre was achieved, compared to R597 in 2014.

South Africa achieved a 50% increase in gold medals at the 2015 International Wine & Spirit Competition.

Cape Wine 2015, September’s three-day showcase to the international wine fraternity, proved to the most successful exhibition of its kind to date, with the number of visitors rising by 27% on the previous show. Held every three years, this year’s trade fair drew 1 900 visitors from a total of 58 countries.

New record prices were set at the 31st Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction for both red and white wines, and the average price per case was up by almost 10% on last year. The auction achieved total sales of R11 815 800, just short of the R11.9 million in 2014, despite smaller volumes, with 264 fewer cases this year.

Abrie Beeslaar of Kanonkop Estate was named the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Winemaker of the Year for the second time.


The inaugural AfrAsia Bank Cape Wine Auction raised R7 045 000 for education charities in the winelands.

WWF's Earth Hour City Challenge (EHCC) awarded Cape Town, South Africa the title of Global Earth Hour Capital 2014.

Michael Jordaan, venture capitalist and former CEO of First National Bank (FNB), was appointed chairman of WOSA. He succeeded Johann Krige, CEO and co-owner of Kanonkop Estate, who was chairman of the marketing body for the past five years.

Viticulturist Pietie le Roux of La Motte won The Drinks Business Green Awards Personality of the Year Award.

Charles Back (owner of Fairview, Goats do Roam Wine Company and Spice Route Winery) was the recipient of the IWC Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Organisation of the World Bulk Wine Exhibition (WBWE) awarded The Voice of Wine 2014 to WOSA.

At the 40th Nederburg Auction, held annually in September, a record average price per litre of R597.36 was achieved, a 68.5% increase on the previous year. Total sales amounted to R7 001 600 and the volume sold was 11 491.50 litres.


Su Birch, CEO of WOSA, won The Drinks Business Green Awards Lifetime Achievement Award.

China made its first investment in the Cape winelands in August 2013 when Perfect China in Yangzhou, the 51% shareholding partner in Perfect Wines of South Africa, purchased the wine cellar at Val de Vie in Paarl. The deal included a 25 ha wine farm with 21 ha of vineyards and the historic manor house, dating back to 1783.

The total 2013 crop was 4.6% higher than the record crop of in 2008.

The annual Nederburg Auction in September broke the record of previous auctions, yielding R4.36-million at an average of R355 per litre, compared with the 2012 average of R185.

Records tumbled at the 29th Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction, held at Spier in Stellenbosch in October, with the highest sales ever recorded exceeding R8,4 million. 

Following the success of its inaugural contest hosted in 2010, WOSA once again staged a Sommelier Cup to find the sommelier among 12 competing nations with the best knowledge of South African wines.

The inaugural generic tasting The Beautiful South, hosted by Wines of Argentina, Wines of Chile and Wines of South Africa in October in London, was a resounding success.

2013 was a record year for South African wine exports, which broke the 500 million litre mark for the first time, reaching 525.3 million litres for the year.

Multi-millionaire Indian businessman Analjit Singh bought a stake in a top South African winery from English investor Keith Prothero, which saw its name change from Mullineux Family Wines to Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines (Leeu International Investments is Singh’s local business).

After 13 years as the CEO of WOSA, Su Birch was succeeded by Siobhan Thompson, previously Distell’s global head of marketing for Amarula and the company’s other liqueur brands. 


Su Birch, CEO of WOSA since 2000, was honoured by UK-based wine market research company, Wine Intelligence, as one of the world`s top 10 personalities in wine, for her instrumental role in developing South Africa’s wine-producing reputation.

South African wine tourism was rated the best developed in the world by the influential International Wine Review.

At The Drinks Business Green Awards 2012 held in London, WOSA won the Generic Sustainability Award of the Year for its work in promoting sustainable practices in the country. Other South African winners included DGB (Pty) (Ethical Award of the Year) and Avondale (Environmental Award of the Year).

The launch in May of a campaign to ensure ethical trading throughout the entire supply chain and the introduction of a seal that only producers who pass the WIETA audit criteria annually are entitled to use were two huge milestones reached in the South African wine industry.

Cape Wine 2012, the flagship business showcase of the South African wine industry, took place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 25 to 27 September. A total of 2 538 people visited the trade show over the three days, showing an increase of 97% compared to the last Cape Wine, held in 2008. Vindaba, a trade exhibition of the country`s impressive range of wine tourism offerings, took place simultaneously.

Klein Constantia Vin de Constance 2007 became the first South African wine to achieve a 97-point rating in Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. This precedent was followed by the Sadie Family Old Vines Series Kokerboom 2011 also achieving 97 points a few months later.

Exports for 2012 reached 417 million litres, 10 million litres more than the previous record of 407 million litres achieved in 2008.


WOSA conducted its first promotion in Angola.

WOSA produced its first promotional material in Japanese, Korean and Mandarin.

HCI Holdings became the largest shareholder in KWV when it acquired a 33.9% stake for R247,1m from Zeder, the PSG Group’s investment company in the food and beverages sectors.

Durbanville Hills Winery was named winner of the Ethical Award category in the 2011 The Drinks Business Green Awards.

WOSA produced an animated video about the new sustainability seal.

The WOSA Wine Workshop tours, a series of one-day master classes consisting of four seminars in most of its target markets, were introduced.

The Jooste family, who have owned Klein Constantia since 1980, entered into an agreement to sell the historic estate to US citizen Zdenek Bakala and Charles Harman from the UK.

Accolade Wines became the parent company of the Fish Hoek, Flagstone and Kumala brands after Constellation Holdings in the USA restructured, selling their Australian, European and South African entities to an Australian private equity fund called Champ.

Cape Town was named the Design Capital of the World for the year 2014 and landmark Table Mountain was named one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature.


The total area conserved among all the BWI champions and members is 126 590 hectares, which represents more than 120% of the total vineyard footprint in the Cape winelands.

At the inaugural The Drinks Business Green Awards, which are designed to highlight leadership on environment, sustainability and climate change by drinks companies worldwide, South Africa came up trumps. Dr Paul Cluver of Paul Cluver Wines won the Lifetime Achievement Award, Inge Kotzé of the Biodiversity & Wine Initiative was awarded the Personality Award, while Backsberg walked away with the Sustainability Award. Paul Cluver Wines and Stellar Organics were named runners-up in the Ethical Award category, giving South Africa a notable presence in four of the eight award results.

Sales of South African wines overtook French wines for the first time in the UK wine market. According to figures from market analysts AC Nielsen, South African wine sales grew 20 percent, by volume, to 12 270 000 9L cases, compared to a decline in French wine sales of 12 percent, to 12 266 000 9L cases.

A revised version of Aspect was produced by WOSA.

SA introduced the world’s first sustainability seal as a guarantee of eco-friendly production.

The WOSA Sommelier World Cup, with 12 countries competing for the title of champion, kicked off in March.

Callie van Niekerk of Distell was named the IWC White Winemaker of the Year.

WOSA launched its animated wine soccer video. The industry was gearing up for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ which took place from 11 June to 11 July and was a resounding success.

WOSA also produced a book called Cape Wine Braai Masters in time for the 2010 celebrations.


The anniversary of 350 years of winemaking was celebrated.

Sales of First Cape were up 135% to £90 million in the UK. It overtook Kumala to become the Cape’s biggest selling wine brand and ranked second on the list of fastest-growing wine brands.

KWV Ltd unbundled its indirect shareholding in Distell from its own operations and assets to become KWV Holdings Ltd.

Ithemba, a full-colour book documenting leading examples of socio-economic transformation in the South African wine industry since the advent of democracy 15 years ago, is produced by WOSA. It was funded largely by the Department of Trade and Industry.

WOSA launched DNA SA. This booklet, a toolkit for marketers, represents WOSA's thinking on how to present Brand Wine South Africa.

WOSA’s CEO Su Birch was named The Drinks Business Woman of the Year.

The Drinks Business Ethical Award was presented to WOSA’s project Laduma, funded mainly through the sales of Fundi wines and generous contributions from the Cape Winelands District Municipality.


SAWIC was disbanded.

September's Nedbank Cape Wine 2008, the wine industry's largest ever showcase to the international market, featured over 300 exhibitors and drew some 1 300 visitors. During the trade show, the change in the country's presidency occurred without incident, a positive reflection of the stability and growing maturity of South Africa's democracy.

The BWI reached its goal of achieving a conservation footprint of 104 511 hectares, 100% equal to the vineyard footprint in the Cape winelands, within three years.

South African wine exports reached a record 407 000 000 litres.

A revised version of Aspect was produced by WOSA.

Abrie Beeslaar of Kanonkop Estate was named the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Winemaker of the Year.


Flagstone was acquired by Constellation, the largest wine company in the world. Winemaker Bruce Jack is now in charge of all Constellation’s South African winemaking, including the Kumala brand.


The biggest ever showcase for SA wines, Cape Wine 2006, was hosted by WOSA at the CTICC, attracting international and national wine media and buyers. This highly successful event featured the world’s first seminar on wine diversity. Some 40% of SA producers signed a pledge to farm in a sustainable, environmentally friendly way with respect for both people and the land, and filled in a diversity survey of what is noteworthy and worth preserving on their lands – these were presented at the seminar.

Omnia Wines with its large and successful brands, which include Kumkani and Arniston Bay, was renamed the company of wine people.

The SA Wine Industry Council (SAWIC), which resulted from the restructuring of the South African Wine & Brandy Company, was launched.


The CWA was acquired from pointBreak by a consortium which included a 25% holding by the CWA management with the remaining 75% being made up of an empowerment group and a cross-section of wine industry players.

The world’s first biodiversity wine route, the Green Mountain Eco Route, was established within the Groenlandberg Conservancy.


Cape Wine 2004 was held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC); a resounding success, it attracted wine media and buyers from across the country and around the globe.

South Africa celebrated 10 years as a peaceful democracy.

KWV entered into the industry’s largest broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) deal with the Phetogo Consortium obtaining 25.1% shares.

KWV branded wines available on the local market.

Vinfruco and Stellenbosch Vineyards merged to form a new company, Omnia Wines, one of the largest producers in South Africa .

The pioneering Biodiversity & Wine Initiative (BWI) was initiated to incorporate biodiversity best practices into the SA wine industry.

Aspect, a booklet which offers in-depth information on our diverse wine regions with their unique biodiversity, a result of our complex terroir, was published by WOSA.


The Wine Industry Plan was accepted by the Minister of Agriculture and Land Affairs as the strategic framework for cooperation and action in the South African wine industry. 


Cape Wine 2002 - a major success for the South African wine industry.

Joint venture between Australia's BRL Hardy and Stellenbosch Vineyards (SV) was announced - a first for the local industry.

The SA Wine Industry Ethical Trading Association (WIETA) was established.

The Shiraz Association was formed.

The KWV split into two separate entities: a commercial company, KWV Limited, and Wijngaard Co-operative, which provides services to and looks after the interests of producers.

White wines were bottled under screwcaps by several South African producers.

The CWA was transferred by Distell to an independent group of management specialists called pointBreak.

The South African Wine and Brandy Company (SAWB) was formed.

The South African Wine and Brandy Company (SAWB) was established, with the aim of implementing the Vision 2020 strategic outline by preparing the Wine Industry Plan.


The Muscadel Association was formed.

Altus le Roux of Boland Cellar was named the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Winemaker of the Year.


The inaugural Cape Wine 2000, showcasing South African wines, was held.

SAWSEA was renamed Wines of South Africa (WOSA). An independent, non-profit company representing all exporters of South African wines, its aim is to build Brand South Africa internationally.

The Chenin Blanc Association was formed.

SFW and Distillers Corporation merged to form one company, Distell.


The new Liquor Bill was rejected as unconstitutional and referred back to parliament for amendment.

The South African Wine Industry Trust (SAWIT) was established to advance the transformation of the wine industry and promote exports.

Winetech initiated Vision 2020, with its aim to produce detailed strategies for the South African wine industry.


The new Liquor Bill, a three-tier system, was approved by parliament.

The CWA was registered in an independent Trust.


KWV Registered as a private company on 01 December.

ARC Infruitec-Nietvoorbij was founded.


Stellenbosch Vineyards (Pty) Ltd was founded.


The Pinotage Association was formed.

KWV International was founded.


The Port Producers' Association was formed.


The quota system controlled by the KWV was scrapped.

Merger of KWV wine courses with the CWA.

The Méthode Cap Classique Association was formed.


First National Bottled Wine Show and inaugural Veritas awards.

Beyers Truter of Kanonkop Estate was named the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Winemaker of the Year.


Changes in the Wine of Origin legislation.

The SA Wines & Spirits Export Association (SAWSEA) was established.

Nelson Mandela was released from prison, impacting strongly on the South African wine industry and its acceptability in the international arena.


The inaugural CWG wine auction was held.

Günter Brözel of Nederburg was named the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Winemaker of the Year, the first South African to earn this prestigious accolade


Flavoured wines introduced to the market.


The Cape Winemakers' Guild (CWG), an independent association, was formed.


Regulations regarding the residual sugar content of table wine changed - for the first time provision was made for wine exceeding 30g per litre.


The Cape Wine Academy (CWA), the wine industry's general education body, was founded in Stellenbosch by SFW in October.

The restructuring of the Liquor Industry by government sanction took place.


The first Auction of Rare Cape Wines was held at Nederburg.

The first South African Zinfandel was marketed by Gilbeys.


The Wine of Origin legislation was instituted.


Stellenbosch Wine Route, the first wine route in the country, was founded.


Distillers built the Bergkelder with its maturation cellars tunnelled into Papegaaiberg in Stellenbosch.


SFW, Monis and Nederburg amalgamated.


Lieberstein sales topped 31-million litres, becoming the world's largest selling bottled wine.


The first Pinotage, a 1959 under the Lanzerac label, was marketed.


SFW launched Lieberstein, a semi-sweet table wine which revolutionised wine-drinking habits in South Africa.


The Viticultural and Oenological Research Institute (VORI) was founded. Today it is known as Nietvoorbij.


Gilbeys SA was founded.


Distillers Corporation was founded.


The Wine and Spirit Control Amendment Act was passed to control the minimum price for good wine.


Nederburg wine farm was bought by Johann Graue, a German immigrant who used cold fermentation for making white table wine in the 1950s.


The Stellenbosch Farmers' Winery (SFW) Limited, a public company, was registered.


Georg Canitz of Muratie bottled the first South African Pinot Noir.


Professor Perold successfully cross-pollinated Pinot Noir with Hermitage (Cinsaut) to develop South Africa's own grape variety, Pinotage.


The Stellenbosch Farmers Winery, a partnership, was founded.
The Ko-operatiewe Wijnbouwers Vereeniging van Zuid-Afrika (KWV) was formed, saving the industry from disaster.

Important developments between 1650 and 1890:


The phylloxera disaster destroyed millions of vines at the Cape


Constantia exported wine to Europe. By 1788, the luscious dessert wines of Constantia win acclaim throughout Europe.


Some 150 French Huguenots emigrated to the Cape, bringing with them their winemaking skills. They settled mainly in the Franschhoek valley.


Van der Stel planted some 10 000 vines in the Constantia valley.


The town of Stellenbosch was established by Governor Simon van der Stel.


The first wine was produced at the Cape. Van Riebeeck wrote in his diary on 02 February: "Today, praise be to god, wine was made for the first time from Cape grapes."


The DEIC released 49 officers who became South Africa’s first free burghers. Each was given a small land grant to farm.


The first vines were imported from France, the Rhineland and Spain and successfully planted in the Company’s gardens.


The Dutch East India Company (DEIC) set up a refreshment station at the Cape of Good Hope under the command of Jan van Riebeeck.