JOHANNESBURG - South African fine wine is gaining traction as an alternative investment class. Intrinsic wine quality is at a record high as we enter a new era of industry-wide, quality-focused winemaking. Smaller producers and larger historical properties are harnessing young and old vines with a deeper understanding than before.

The 2015 vintage has been a tipping point for local and international consumers, as we realise that South Africa can play in the fine wine market. Accepted as the greatest modern-day vintage, 2015 produced balanced, structured and poised wines in Stellenbosch and across the Cape.

Early signs point to the fact that the drought-affected 2017 will be another exceptional vintage, providing local and international critics with incredible newsworthy wines.

WineCellar.co.za have released two investment portfolios, adding 20000 bottles of fine South African wine to the future secondary market.

With high inflation and a weak rand, producer inflation is higher than consumer inflation and, therefore, the value of South African wines is being positively repositioned in the market. Under these circumstances and adding to this the appreciation of older vintages, the Wine Cellar team of expert wine judges believe annual long-term returns of 10 to 20percent are achievable.

So which wines would be considered the blue-chip stocks?


Here's our selection of South Africa's finest investment wines:

Kanonkop Paul Sauer 2015. Consistency in quality is key to investment potential and no other South African wine has been more consistent. Paul Sauer was South Africa's first positive growth investment wine since the 1990s with a stream of regular local and international awards.

Meerlust Rubicon 2015. Rubicon is arguably South Africa's greatest wine brand. Produced in significant volume and with an impressive distribution network, Meerlust has built an incredible brand equity over the past four decades. The quality of Rubicon hasn't quite matched its status however, well not until the 2015 vintage.

The greatest modern day vintage, combined with maturing vineyards and a refinement in winemaking has pushed the Rubicon to a new level.

Thelema Cabernet Sauvignon 2015. Traditionally, the wines of Bordeaux have been the best investment vehicles due to their unparalleled quality and long-term ageing potential. Cabernet Sauvignon is also king in Stellenbosch and Thelema has been a leading example of Cab Sav production since the early 1990s.

Alto Cabernet Sauvignon 2015. With the average price of Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon close to the R400 mark, Alto is another wine that we feel is under-priced.

Distell has finally realised the potential of this property and is investing in future quality.


Sadie Family T’Voetpad 2017. Eben Sadie is South Africa's best and most famous winemaker and the wines in his Old Vine series all offer an excellent investment proposition.

Produced in tiny quantities and snapped up on release every year, they quickly see the secondary market at great returns.

Restless River Cabernet Sauvignon 2015. Not considered a “blue-chip” stock, we feel the rising star of Restless River is an outside bet for great returns. Craig and Anne Wessels planted Cabernet Sauvignon in the Hemel-en-Aarde 20 years ago, going against the trend of a prolific local Pinot noir culture.

Roland Peens is a winecellar.co.za director and wine judge.

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