Think world-class Cabernet Sauvignon, think Stellenbosch

By Admin | 20th October 2021

Stellenbosch is not only South Africa’s largest Wine of Origin region and home to more than a third of the Cape’s wineries but it also has the largest vineyard area under Cabernet Sauvignon in South Africa. 

Although much has been made recently of South Africa’s ‘New Wave’ wines, it is to Stellenbosch that we look for the classic and elegant Cabernet Sauvignons that sit comfortably on the global stage, shoulder to shoulder with the world’s most revered wines.

Think world-class Cabernet Sauvignon, think Stellenbosch

An introduction to Stellenbosch

Stellenbosch is divided into 5 sub-wards namely Stellenbosch Berg, Greater Simonsberg, Stellenbosch Valley, Bottelary Hills and Helderberg. Each ward is differentiated by soil types, aspect and area. This allows the wines of Stellenbosch great diversity expressing the characteristics of this unique terroir.

Cabernet Sauvignon, the flagship grape variety of Stellenbosch

The offspring of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon is a successful world-traveller, setting down roots in virtually all winemaking countries that can ripen red grapes.  It is recognisable for its primary aromas, flavour and structure and its most commonly associated descriptors are blackcurrants, other dark fruits and cigar box spice.  It produces some of the world’s most sought-after, richly coloured, full-bodied wines with supreme ageing ability and is particularly versatile with food – especially red meat and cheese.

Why is Stellenbosch so perfectly placed to produce Cabernet Sauvignon of such character and complexity?

The success of the classic and elegant Cabernet Sauvignon produced in Stellenbosch can be attributed to the following:

  • A warm Mediterranean climate with cooler pockets influenced by altitude on the hillside slopes and foothills of its mountains as well as the maritime breezes from its proximity to the ocean
  • A mixture of granite, sandstone and shale soils – South Africa and in particular Stellenbosch has among the oldest viticultural soils worldwide and they are also among the poorest or least fertile, a fact which works in Cabernet Sauvignon’s favour
  • An annual rainfall of 600mm-800mm with Stellenbosch vineyards receiving plenty of rain

These fundamental elements come together to enable the grapes to ripen and display quintessential Cabernet aromas and flavours producing characterful wines of exceptional quality with great aging potential.

Where is the best place to start if I visit Stellenbosch?

In 1971 Stellenbosch became the first wine region in South Africa to establish a wine route as an organised network of wineries at which the tourist could experience the product of the vine and tune into the soul of the region's winelands. Fast forward 50 years and Stellenbosch Wine Routes now provides a co-ordinated network of more than 150 wineries, each offering a unique cellar-door experience.  It is here that the wine-lover can experience Cabernet Sauvignons produced by passionate winemakers who are custodians and curators of this remarkable terroir.

Which producers should I look for in particular?

The folloiwng list comprises a selection of top Stellenbosch Cabernet Producers receiving international acclaim, particularly worthy of searching out:

Bartinney Wine Estate





Delaire Graff Estate





Delheim Wine Estate





Ernie Els Wines





Hartenberg Wine Estate





Jordan Wine Estate





Kaapzicht Wine Estate





Kanonkop Wine Estate





Kleine Zalze Wines





Le Riche Wines





Mooiplaas Wine Estate





Muratie Wine Estate





Neil Ellis Wines





Oldenburg Vineyards





Peter Falke Wines





Rust en Vrede Wine Estate





Simonsig Wines





Spier Wine Farm





Stark-Condé Wines





Thelema Mountain Vineyards





Warwick Wine Estate





Waterford Estate





Where can I buy Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon?

Cabernet Sauvignon from the producers listed above are available at independent wine merchants across the UK.  Please see a list of stockists below by region so you can visit your local merchant to buy a bottle.

South West

Christopher Piper Wines - Ottery St Mary

Drinkfinder UK - Falmouth

Findlay Wines - Budleigh Salterton

Michael Sutton Cellar - Dartmouth

Museum Wines - Blandford Forum

The Great Wine Company - Bath

South East (exc London)

Carte du Vin - Winchester

Ex Cellar - Surbiton, Claygate, Ashstead

Fareham Wine Cellars - Fareham

Frontier Fine Wines - Colchester

New Forest Wines - Ringwood

Old Butchers Wine Cellar - Maidenhead

Sissinghurst Wines - Cranbrook

The General Wine Company - Petersfield & Liphook

The Horsham Cellar - Horsham

The Surrey Wine Cellar - Chobham

The Vineking - Reigate, East Molesey, Weybridge

The Wine Reserve - Cobham

Twelve Green Bottles - Fordingbridge

Cape Wine & Food  - Staines

Cellar Door Wines - St Albans

Street Wines - Colchester

Village Wines - Bexley

Banstead Vintners - Banstead


Armit Wines


Handford Wines 

Humble Grape


North & South Wines 

Pull the Cork




Cambridge Wine Merchants - Cambridge


Amps Fine - Oundle

Hard to Find Wines

Shekleton Wines - Stamford


D Byrne & Co - Clitheroe

Field & Fawcett - York

Hic! - Castleford

Hoults Wine Merchants - Huddersfield

John Hattersley Wines - Bakewell

Lekker Wines - Lancaster

Sandhams Wine Merchants - Market Rasen

Stainton Wines - Kendal

The Harrogate Fine Wine Company - Harrogate

Wharf Side Wines - Skipton

Windermere Wines - Windermere

Winearray - Boroughbridge


Alexander Wines - Glasgow

Vino Fandango - Edinburgh


ND John - Swansea

Channel Islands

Love Fine Wines - Jersey


Waitrose Cellar


Bancroft Wines Online

Cellar Selected

Drinks & Co

Petersham Cellar


South Africa House of Wine

Vino Direct


Wine & Something

Wine Direct

The Great Wine Company

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#stellenboschwine #stellenboschwineroute #stellenboschcabernet
#spectacularsouthafrica #drinksouthafrican

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