The Barrel List

“The juice of the grape is the liquid quintessence of concentrated sunbeams.”

- Thomas Love Peacock

A few of my favourite vineyards and grape choices, some should only be sipped, and with some you should drink the whole bottle. Santé


$ - $$$

A hemel-en-arde vineyard that is synonymous for producing exceptional wines. Any cultivar will delight your taste buds, but they are best known for their Chardonnay, as well as their award winning Pinot Noir. A firm favourite.

Region | Hemel en Aarde Valley



So delightful, this MCC could rival a French cousin or two. They have a selection of varietals to choose from, across vintages and are the first winery in South Africa to use the Tirage Liège method, a method of fermenting the wine under cork instead of crown. Lively and luxurious comes to mind, with the finest bubbles that form intricate paths in your flute from the bottom up to the top. Truly sublime.

Region |Franschhoek



Should you happen to find this vineyard listed on your menu, make sure to order a glass or even better a whole bottle. Depending on your choice of white or red, either will delight and I suspect your waiter will be popping more than one cork.

Region |Tulbagh



A beautiful pioneering wine estate in the middle of nowhere at the end of a long, dusty, bumpy road at the Southern tip of Africa. These wines are grown in Malgas on the banks of the Breede River and are the only first growth appellation in the region. So if you happen to spot this one on your menu, order quickly ….before the table next to you snaps up the last bottle!

Region | Breede River Valley


$$ - $$$

This is an iconic South African wine. The farm, in fact dates back to 1682. The John X Meeriman is an easy drinking Bordeaux style blend, whereas the more pricey John Barlow is rich and robust.

Region |Stellenbosch



Tucked into the foothills of a mountain range, these wines are lovingly made by a Californian. Her passion combined with vines planted at 300 meters, chilled by the winter snow and nourished by the African summer sun, produce classic cool climate wines that are rich and complex. The Chardonnay is a firm favourite and an export of South Africa, so if you find a bottle, consider yourself lucky.

Region |Greyton



An iconic Chardonnay from the Hemel-en-Arde valley - an elegant, yet textured and intense wine with a strong personality of both place and vintage, the grand dame of chards so to speak. Vibrant natural acidity and dry minerality make this rather exceptional. It's pricey, but such a treat, perhaps worth eating dry crackers for a week or two. In fact, they might even go rather well together.

Region | Hemel en Aarde Valley



Perfect for a warm summer evening, the Chenin Blanc is inexpensive as well as quite delicious. It is a light wine, but don’t be fooled by the varietal, it can definitely hold its own paired with food, especially served with freshly caught fish. The Rose isn't bad either.

Region |Walker Bay



A full of flavour Chenin Blanc with ripe apples and stone fruit on the nose.In other words, delicious with a long savoury finish. It totally over-delivers.

Region | Somewhere in Africa


$$ - $$$

A boutique wine estate situated high up in the picturesque Blaauwklippen Valley, otherwise known as Paradyskloof (Paradise Valley). Keermont creates wines that reflect the beautiful place from which they come and the particular year’s vintage conditions. The wines are made as naturally as possible and so in fact are good for you. Best served, often.

Region | Stellenbosch



The Grenache Syrah beautifully contrasts delicate purity of fruit and elegant acidity with darker, savoury complexity. Expect red and black fruit, earth, a tapenade like character, great freshness and grippy tannins. The light fresher white is beautifully aromatic with a delicate palate. The name a reminder of both the incredible history and sense of fun in winemaking. "Kottabos" - a game played by the ancient Greeks in which wine lees was flung at targets while uttering the name of the object of one's affection.

Region | Stellenbosch


$ - $$

The name Pella means “place of gathering” which refers to the union of terroir and vines. These single vineyard vines deliver quality. The Chenin is exceptional with rich layers of citrus and peach. Buttery in the mouth, and lifted by fresh acidity.

Region | Stellenbosch

And I could go on and on. If you like these, then sign up for my free Epicurean Guide and receive wine updates straight to your inbox. I showcase must-try restaurants and cafes about town, as well as wines I love to enjoy. Click here to sign up

And in in the meantime, happy sipping!

Lucie VosComment