Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Travel to South Africa In a Glass or In Person

By John Stewart, August 25, 2013  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by John Stewart

Wines from South AfricaWould you like to win a trip to what our world-travelling wine buyer calls “the most beautiful country I’ve ever seen?” Would you like to visit with winemakers whose vineyards plunge down mountainsides buffeted by winds from both the Atlantic and Indian Oceans? Would you like to experience a glass of sauvignon blanc in the land where it’s made? Read on to find out how you can enter for a chance to win a trip to the distant, diverse, delicious world of South Africa.

Astonishing beauty. Alluring wine.

The Western Cape of South Africa is a strikingly beautiful land of drastically different topographies, temperatures and precipitation levels. These varied microclimates make for unrivaled biodiversity, as well as growing conditions that are perfect for many different grape varietals.

Wines of South Africa. Our 7 Best Picks.

Now the eight largest wine producer in the world, there are so many great wines coming out of South Africa that picking our best seven among so many great options was a challenge, but we knew we couldn’t go wrong.

The Reds

Cabernet Sauvignon from the esteemed Robertson Winery shows rich flavors of mulberry and ripe plum and a smooth, lingering finish.

The lush finish of The Wolftrap Syrah Mourvèdre Viognier was what won us over, but the pepper and blackberry mingling with floral notes kept us trying just one more sip.

South Africa’s proudly unique wine grape, pinotage, takes center stage with Flagstone’s Dragon Tree. Deeply complex with dark cherries, cigar box and the slightest hint of mint, this wine has a long, sweetly spicy finish of beautifully balanced acidity.

And the final red, Bellingham’s Small Barrel S.M.V. This world-class wine displays a mosaic of dark chocolate, bramble berries and violet notes. Intense fruit arises in the velvety finish. Allow the wine plenty of room to breathe – open at least an hour before drinking. (And you can stash this bottle away for years.)

The Whites

A delightful white wine with bursts of pear and lemon curd, Protea’s Chenin Blanc pairs perfectly with any seafood. Look for floral notes of jasmine in the brisk finish.

Indaba’s Sauvignon Blanc displays ideal varietal character with zippy citrus notes of grapefruit and lime, warming to green fig flavors in the complex finish.

Sleek and sassy, DMZ Chardonnay exemplifies the approachibility of South African wine: notes of tropical fruit move to warm peach and honey finishing with mineral-tinged flavors of toasty caramel.

Here’s Where You Come In

We’re so excited about these wines and their growing region that we’re giving away three trips for two to South Africa! Winners will spend six days in South Africa’s wine country tasting wines, meeting winemakers and visiting vineyards, and the other four days seeing the sights in beautiful Cape Town. Round trip coach airfare to Cape Town, five-star accomodations and all ground transportation is included.

Take note, the contest starts September 3rd and to enter, you’ll write an essay, from 25 to 250 words, describing which of our featured South African wines is your favorite or which one you’re most excited to try and why. Submissions will be posted online, viewers will vote on them, and a panel of Whole Foods Market® judges will pick three winners from among the finalists!

Trip details and official rules will be posted on our wine page starting on September 3rd.

So fire up your imagination, start composing, and visit wholefoodsmarket.com/wine September 3rd and September 18th to submit your entry.

We can’t wait to hear what you have to say!

Full information, trip details and rules will be available on our wine page starting on September 3rd. Make sure to check back. This is not a blog contest. To enter you must sumbit your essay via our wine page between September 3rd and September 18th.

Category: Wine & Beer




marc popkin says ...
thank you
08/28/2013 2:01:57 PM CDT
Jackie Kahn says ...
Throughout my years as a travel nurse i have tried many new and delicious things from the various Whole Foods accross the country. Ironically lately i have added Cape Town to my bucket list of places i would like to visit. As yet I have not been exposed to South African wines so I am looking forward to experiencing them, then hopefully writing a winning essay.
08/28/2013 2:27:38 PM CDT
Joyce Bargeron says ...
Cape Town is the most captivating place I have ever been. To go to the vineyards again ,not just for a quick sightseeing trip, would be heaven on earth.
08/28/2013 2:34:50 PM CDT
melissa galit says ...
I'd love to visit South Africa!
08/28/2013 3:57:44 PM CDT
Kimberly Gearhart says ...
non-alcoholic wines would be on a list to try!
08/28/2013 4:01:34 PM CDT
Natalie Blanchard says ...
One of my favorite areas is Table Mountain with the wild rabbits running around. Cape town is amazingly beautiful and there is so much to do. Food and wine are top of my list.
08/28/2013 4:30:23 PM CDT
Karin Ward says ...
I have been to South Africa. I taught there for one year. I have been to the Stellenbosch region. I am a big fan of their ports and amber and their wines are very good as well. A very beautiful country. I would love to return . . .
08/28/2013 5:29:22 PM CDT
Caroline Dawson says ...
I just started traveling and have had the pleasure of sampling wine in Canada, Dominican Republic, Honduras and Belize and would love to add South Africa to my list of countries where I have sampled wine produced there and tour the vineyards where the grapes are grown. I have heard South Africa is an interesting country to visit.
08/28/2013 5:49:23 PM CDT
Tracy Begolly says ...
I want to go to Africa!!
08/28/2013 7:12:51 PM CDT
Dale Roland says ...
I would love to see all the beautiful nature, animals, Capetown, and the Mandela Family.
08/28/2013 7:38:58 PM CDT
Helen Yanulis says ...
I'd like to see what SA looks like after disintegration of Apartheid. The culture, the people, the beautiful countryside, and ok the wine are top notch. Take me away!
08/28/2013 8:51:17 PM CDT
Beth says ...
You must visit Cape Town!
08/28/2013 9:58:59 PM CDT
AnnMarie Bendickson says ...
I would like to go to South Africa !
08/28/2013 10:17:18 PM CDT
Stacey Fredriksen says ...
Oh, to be able to travel to the land of the Zulus and Nelson Mandela! To experience the sights and and sounds of it's indigenous people's and to step foot again on this ancient and stunning land....I can dream of all this, but I can also be the winner of this amazing prize! South Africa's wines are some of the most prized wines in the world and the wineries of Cape Town and Stellenbosch are breathtaking. This is a trip of a lifetime!
08/28/2013 11:55:21 PM CDT
Bo Koch says ...
I look forward to trying the whole spectrum of wines. Thanks.
08/29/2013 5:13:01 AM CDT
MAGGI BOSSE says ...
The names of the delicately fine selections of wines of South Africa are as tickling to the mind as their cherished tastes to the palette. My absolute "got to have on hand at all times" are Flagstones Dragon and Wolftrap Syrah Mouvedre Viognier. Try to say the latter while enjoying a few glasses.
08/29/2013 6:42:07 AM CDT
Lauren says ...
Sounds amazing!!!!
08/29/2013 7:24:43 AM CDT
Corrie Burmeister says ...
Woo hoo - send me to South Africa to drink wine and explore a new continent.
08/29/2013 9:13:14 AM CDT
Robyn Fabian says ...
Although I have never been to Africa, My maternal grandmother and some of her siblings came from joshua Burg .It has always been a dream of mine to go there and seeen the sites as well as to seek out any family members!! Thank you, robyn
08/29/2013 9:45:10 AM CDT
Carolyn says ...
I have always wanted to go to Africa!
08/29/2013 10:36:22 AM CDT
Calleen says ...
Will share with family
08/29/2013 7:23:40 PM CDT
Chris says ...
The beautiful mountains, valleys and vines of South Africa produce the most delicious and unique wines and the people are welcoming. I would love to be a part of it and to meet the winemakers who use their climate and nature to create wonderful wines, and of course to taste the wines and learn more.
08/30/2013 6:27:11 AM CDT
Anthony C says ...
This is great, thanks
08/31/2013 4:19:32 PM CDT
Sharon W says ...
I've never traveled South Africa but I always make it a point to visit vineyards on my travels (Napa, Sonoma, Willamette, Woodinville, Rhode Island) to learn about and taste the region's wines. It would be amazing to soak in what South Africa offers to the wine world whether it be red or white, and to see a country and its people all in one stay. Plus, it would fulfill one of my travel wishes!
09/03/2013 9:39:36 PM CDT
Charlene Duncan says ...
All of these wines sound delicious, but I would most like to try the Cabernet Sauvignon from the Robertson Winery. I had the rare opportunity to visit South Africa last year to volunteer on an animal reserve. I was able to try a dessert wine from the Robertson Winery Dessert Wine and I love it so much, I brought a bottle of it back, which I’m still saving for a special occasion! As much as I wanted to try other wines or even wine tour, my tight schedule did not permit me to do so. Now, I am always searching for good South African wines, especially from the Robertson Winery, and I hope to be able to return to South Africa someday.
09/07/2013 12:20:29 PM CDT