South African Rose Wine: A Lesser Known Rose Worth Your Time?

South African rose wine is less well known by wine lovers in America, Canada, and Europe. However, South Africa’s winemaking tradition goes back centuries. In recent decades, quality wine production has increased, and South African wine competitions have encouraged high-quality bottles of wine. Thanks to the development of quality wine in the region and growing exports, we can all enjoy more great wines from South Africa.

South Africa rose wine
Vineyard landscape at sunset with mountains in Stellenbosch, near Cape Town, South Africa

South African Rose Wine: Top Wine Bottles

In the past, South African winemakers had a reputation for focusing on bulk wine production. Fortunately, there are also many excellent quality bottles, including rose, a great summery wine. After all, the South African wine industry started in the 1600s, making it far older than wine production in several other countries. Pick up one of the following light-bodied wines to enjoy on a warm day.

Mulderbosch Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé

Cherry and peach fruit flavors define this South African rose wine. With 12.5% alcohol content, this bottle is a good pairing for fish dishes and salads. The winemaker has a single vineyard area dedicated to producing rose wine. Instead of a dry finish, the wine has a semi-sweet taste.

Fairview’s Goats Do Roam Rosé

When pouring this wine, you’ll notice light summery notes like rose, peach, and pomegranate. The bottle has 13.7% alcohol content and enough acidity to be refreshing. The wine ends with a mineral finish, what some may call an earthy finish (rather than floral notes).

2022 Babylonstoren Mourvedre Rose

Produced in the Paarl wine district in the Western Cape (Coastal Region), this rose wine has 13% alcohol by volume. The fruit-forward wine is made from mourvèdre grapes. Instead of fresh strawberry, this wine producer describes this wine as having “creamy strawberry yogurt.” The wine also has enough acidity to be refreshing. Strawberry notes and refreshing qualities – that’s the essence of summer.

The Hedgehog Rose

Produced in the Northern Cape, this rose wine offers Turkish delight aromas. The screw-top wine is not aged in oak barrels, so it does not have smoky or vanilla notes. The 13% alcohol by wine is a blend. The blend includes three grapes: Chenin Blanc, Morio Muscat, and Pinotage. The winery offers a delivery guarantee – they will send the wine anywhere in South Africa (i.e., your delivery address must be in South Africa if ordering directly from the winery).

Chill Out South African Rosé

This rose wine stands out among fruit-driven wines because it is dominated by grapefruit rather than the aromas of strawberry. Those looking for an alternative to expensive wine may enjoy this highly affordable wine. From a food wine perspective, this wine works best with salads and light courses.

South African Wine Regions

Knowing your way around a country’s wine regions is essential to understand wine labels and quality wine production properly. South Africa’s most popular winemaking regions are outlined below so you can impress your fellow wine lovers. South Africa’s climate has good conditions for wine grapes, so expect to see this country play an ever-larger role in wine production.

Coastal Region

South Africa’s coastal region is well known, especially the western Cape on the Atlantic Ocean. The region is known for producing multiple categories of wine, including white wines (such as Sauvignon Blanc), rose wines, and red wines. The coastal region is also well known for producing sparkling wines (i.e., champagne method wines) and pinotage. The coastal region is critical in terms of variety and annual wine production in the South African wine market. In terms of grape variety, this region offers Chenin Blanc, Syrah, Pinotage, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon are popular options.

From a wine travel perspective, the coastal region is an excellent destination for wine lovers. Wine tourism points out that Swartland and Tulbagh are wonderful places to visit. Flying in Cape Town is usually the best way to start your visit to South Africa’s coastal region.

Are you looking for cool climate varietals? Look no further than the Western Cape, which has multiple cooler climate sites.

Cape South Coast

The Cape South Coast region has six wine districts, including Cape Agulhas, Elgin, Overberg, Plettenberg Bay, Swellendam, and Walker Bay. The region is less significant in terms of producing rose wine, so it will not be our focus here.

Klein Karoo

The Klein Karoo wine region is known for its arid, hot climate. The wine region is best known for its fortified wines (well worth trying in addition to Portugal’s tawny port). There are some rose wines produced in this region as well. The primary grape varieties are Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Noir, and Shiraz.

Breede River Valley

With a strong red wine reputation, Breede River Valley is also known for producing quality sparkling wines. Most of the vineyard soil types in the region have lime which tends to balance the fruit character of the wine. A few producers in this wine region also offer a fortified “port-style” wine.

South African Rose Wine In Summary

Rose wine from South Africa is less well known than rose from southern France and other regions. As a result, South African rose offers great value for wine lovers. In my research, I didn’t find any rose wines above $50 in the international market. To see how South Africa compares, compare it to rose wines from France.

South African Rose Wine: A Lesser Known Rose Worth Your Time?
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