Wine lovers rate SA wines

Friday, 4 June, 2004
Shelly van Zyl
Vergelegen voted top SA winery in Wine Magazine poll

Vergelegen is South Africa’s best winery, producing both the best red and the best white wine and claiming top ranking as the most beautiful winery in the country. That’s according to local wine lovers, with the Helderberg producer voted top SA winery ahead of Thelema, Kanonkop and Rust en Vrede in WINE magazine’s recent reader poll.

Readers were asked to give their opinions on subjects ranging from preferred varieties to icon wines, wine closures to price ceilings, value-for-money wines and favourite restaurants.

Not surprisingly, the poll revealed that the choice of top red and white wines is closely tied to that of the top wineries: Vergelegen’s red blend came out ahead of Kanonkop Paul Sauer and Rust en Vrede Estate, with the Vergelegen white blend leading Steenberg Sauvignon Blanc and Kanu Chenin Blanc.

Villiera claimed the honours as producer of the best bubbly as well as the best value-for-money label – Down to Earth.

Price sensitivity varied widely, though on average WINE readers are prepared to pay a maximum of R50 a bottle for an everyday drinking wine and up to R172 for South Africa’s best – though one respondent indicated that R4 000 wasn’t too much to spend!

When it comes to oenophiles’ most beloved wine brands, stalwarts Nederburg, Chateau Libertas and Tassenberg remain clear leaders – Tassenberg being the wine of choice among students for decades, and “mother’s milk” according to one reader.

South Africans’ favourite varieties are Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Sauvignon Blanc, while the most underrated reds are Shiraz and Pinotage. The most underrated whites: Chenin Blanc and Semillon.

The full results of WINE’s reader poll are published in the magazine’s June issue.

Issued by: Shelley van Zyl
Tel: +27 (21) 530-3100

Contact: Christian Eedes
Tel: +27 (21) 530-3287

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