South Africa vintages
8 Jul 2013 by Richard Hemming

2013 enjoyed a wet winter and warm summer. Humidity threatened rot during the harvest, but producers with the strongest nerve successfully waited for dryer conditions. Reds are particularly promising.

2012 produced below average yields, but good quality fruit thanks to a dry, easy harvest period.

2011 brought drought, resulting in reduced yields and particular concentration in reds. Not an auspicious vintage.

was cool and dry in spring until a very wet November. December was dry again, and warm too, allowing for good late ripening. Mildew was a problem in many areas, so quality is variable.

2009 met with universal acclaim across all varieties.

2008 created lighter than average wines, thanks to an especially cool growing season. Not an easy vintage, but the slow ripening process led to elegant examples from the best producers.

2007 was ripe and rich, favouring Rhône varieties in particular. For a more detailed breakdown of 2007 in South Africa, click here.

2006 started coolly, meaning small berries with thick skins that led to great concentration. A strong vintage.

2005 was undistinguished, with reds slightly more favoured than whites.

2004 enjoyed cooler conditions than the norm, making for more restrained styles in both reds and whites.

2003 had temperatures several degrees below the average, with the best results coming from the earlier ripening varieties.

2002 brought rain in abundance, leading to plentiful rot. Not a good vintage.

2001 continued the run of hot vintages, and produced a very small harvest of concentrated reds. Tannins were generally softer than in 2000. 

2000 was the third hot year in a row. Whites were unimpressive, but reds were powerful and concentrated, with high tannic structure.