The Stellenbosch Wine Review allows you to compare recent vintages of the same wine and gives a brief description of the latest vintage.

The concept of ‘terroir’ – the effect of climate, soil, and location on the vine – is crucial to wine production. Stellenbosch has a range of soils, a variety of altitudes, of aspects, of proximities to the coast, of varying rainfall and wind, of shelter and sunshine hours, all making a variety of styles possible and suiting myriad varietals.

Stellenbosch has a range of specific climate ‘pockets’ and Wards in the District vary, Jonkershoek has a different meso climate than Bottelary, for instance.

Scroll down for a general overview of recent Stellenbosch vintages.

The Stellenbosch Wine Review allows you to compare recent vintages of the same wine and gives a brief description of the latest vintage.

Very mixed across Stellenbosch, with the only constant being good quality everywhere. Rain during early harvest caused some rot problems for some, who lost volume as a result, others were still affected by drought also affecting volumes, but some saw increased yields. A long dry growing season meant this vintage seems to be very good for nearly all, with some areas saying this is an excellent vintage and should produce stunning wines.

A more ‘normal’ vintage, with a cool and wet winter, dry spring and very good ripening conditions. Signs at harvest suggest this could be a slightly smaller harvest for many – due to the effects of drought – but quality could range from good to excellent.

Some  heat in October, then a relatively cooler Spring and milder Summer meant longer hang times and slower ripening for reds, with early, but more normal harvest times for much of Stellenbosch. Isolated wards experienced poor fruit set, partly due to cold winds and wet conditions early on. Quality generally looks good and the crop is expected to be only slightly larger than 2018.

A more normal vintage, with harvest dates slightly later, but restricted yields due to the continued drought, in some places with loses of up to 90% in some cultivars. Quality looks good, maybe excellent for some, and quantity unaffected in some areas. Wines should prove to be balanced, deeply coloured and with pure fruit nuances. More a cellaring vintage than 2016.

As in 2016, a dry and warm to hot growing season, with cooler weather in February resulting in smaller berries of greater concentration. Yields were slightly down, but quality ranges from good to very good. This are concentrated, expressive wines which will have good aging potential. Whites in particular are very good and with more aging potential than 2016.

The driest season on record, following a dry winter bringing forward the harvest for several varieties and, with veld fires causing extensive damage, led to a reduced crop, for some 40% less than 2015. Berry size was small, meaning concentrated flavours and bold, fruity wines. Winemakers who adapted to conditions might make rich, complex wines, but generally wines will be forward and fruity and with less aging ability. Wine Spectator 87-90/100   Wine Cellar 3 stars

One of the earliest harvests on record, with warm, dry and windy weather protecting against disease and ensuring full ripening. Berries were small and yields slightly down, sugar and phenolic ripening gave some of the best analysis and wines are deeply coloured with good acidity and fully fruited. One of the very best vintages, possibly as good as 2009, and wines have good aging potential. Wine Spectator 93/100   Wine Cellar 5 stars

A cold and wet winter, followed by sporadic rain during the growing season          led to an average to high yield with good coloured wines of reasonable concentration due to late warmth before harvest. Wines will be less suitable for long aging.  Wine Spectator 87/100   Wine Cellar 3 stars

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A cold wet winter followed by very good conditions led to a large crop with little disease risk. Wines range from good to very good, especially reds. Only premium wines might reward long cellaring.  Wine Spectator 87/100   Wine Cellar 3 stars


A dry, warm year, with small berries in good condition, larger than previoulys and making wines of good colour and depth. Premium wines will reward cellaring. Wine Spectator 91/100   Wine Cellar 4 stars

Wine Spectator 90/100   Wine Cellar 4 stars

Wine Spectator 87/100 Wine Cellar 3 stars