Wines of South Africa


Cuddled between East and West, between two oceans and a vast rich history to spice the story, South Africa is a colourful country with wines to match. Gifted by nature with splendid weather, soil and people, this is a treasure one cannot miss and as the South African’s say.’ “Let’s make a plan” we will see you on the course my friend.


This Online Wines of South Africa Course is an intermediate level wine course that is designed for wine enthusiasts, connoisseur and industry professionals to learn the history, culture and practical knowledge about South African wine.

What You Will Learn in the APWASI South African Online Wine Course

  • The History of South African Wines
  • The Geography
  • The Styles of South African Wines
  • Grape Varieties
  • Wine and Cuisine Pairings and Etiquette

We provide you with a list of South African wines and pairings to try. We strongly encourage you to try these wines during the course of your studies.

Online Wine Course Structure

This is a self-paced course and should take approximately 19-25 hours including study time to complete.

There are quizzes at the end of each section and a Final exam at the end of the course.

South African Online Wine Course Entry Requirements

Although there are no requirements to take the APWASI South African Online Wine course, we recommend that you complete Wine Essentials 1 and Wine Essentials 2 (or equivalent, check out our Course Comparisons) before proceeding with this course. You must also be of legal drinking age in the country where you are attending the course if you will participate in the tasting of wines.

Upon completion, you will receive receive a APWASI Wines of South Africa ACWS post nominal, an APWASI certificate.

Not sure about our Online Wine Courses yet?

Take our Free Online Wine Preview Course to learn more about APWASI’s way of learning.

Preview of South African Online Wine Course

A massive line-up of wines as equally impressive as their country’s world rugby champions, South African wines are equal to the task of meeting any wine challengers.

Elgin and Walker bay straddle the pinnacle of excellence with their grape varietals, a touch of class. The continental climate of the interior and the charming Mediterranean climate of the coastal region offer a diverse grape selection and naturally the world respected Pinotage is exemplary in style and elegance. Pinotage, is a cross between Pinot Noir and Hermitage (Cinsaut), which more recently is being cultivated locally on a fairly large scale.

The rolling and welcoming terrain of Stellenbosch and Constantia has brought wonders to the palates of wine lovers and we are still fortunate to be able to sit on the list of those that have tasted this country’s wine treasures.

Recently, the South African wine industry is undergoing a renaissance. With over 40% of the vineyards replanted this country is moving from volume production to quality wines. White wines are now overpowering the ratio to red wines. Learn more why and where the future of wine varietals like Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay lie. Areas like Stellenbosch has the most vineyard plantings but one must look at other impressive regions like Paarl, Robertson ,Swartland and Breedekloof.

Initially landing in 1652 by Jan Van Riebeeck, Table Mountain in the fair Cape and home to the Cape of Storms, the turbulent seas enveloped in the warm arms of the land offer a combination of microclimates that deliver wines of exacting magnitude of flavor and fruit concentration. Beguiled with a cosmopolitan cuisines infused with French Huguenots, Dutch and British influences South Africa is a country, broad and deeply animated with its wine as it is with its national sports of Rugby and football. Come and have a sip of wine at the end of the day enjoying the spectacular sunset.

1.0 Introduction

2.0 History of South African Wine

3.0 Geography

4.0 Climate/Soil/Wine Regions

5.0 Grapes of South Africa

5.0A – Wine Tasting Equipment and Tasting List

6.0 Cuisine

7.0 Pairings

8.0 Culture and Etiquette

9.0 How to Read the Label / Bottling / Packaging

10. Future

11. Summary

12. Course Feedback

13. Final Exam

Estimated study time?

Individuals differ, learning styles differ, and the individual time factors and learning speeds differ so it would be hard to place a precise time so we suggest a range of between 19-25 hours of study. This includes reading through the material and completing the quizzes and the final examination. There is no time constraint nor limit, of utmost importance is you enjoy this journey of knowledge and you indulge your curiosity and thirst for knowledge.

How long do I have to complete the course?

Human beings never complete anything without a target. We may believe this to be untrue but if you were to silently contemplate yourself with unbridled honesty you would admit this is a truth, unpleasant it may be but still the truth. At APWASI we encourage you to complete this course within six months from registration. As the course recommendation is between 19-25 hours, a six-month period of completion is an exaggerated premium of time for you as we want you to do other more constructive things in life than procrastinate.

Who is it for?

Our courses are for the dedicated, determined, belief in themselves and wanting to succeed. If you have these qualities you will succeed at anything you want not only these courses.

These courses, by the nature of their content are aimed at wine professionals currently in the industry and those who are intending to join the industry, and enthusiasts. The kaleidoscope of career options is many. This would include retail, importing, exporting, distributing, and perhaps even producing. Additionally, if you are in the hospitality industry, hotel, airline, cruise ship, high-medium end restaurants, this course would give you a firm and unquestionable structure of wine and spirit knowledge to further your career. Following our 5 C’s philosophy we believe our courses are for those who treasure knowledge and have a thirst to make their mark in life.

Where can I do this?

Anywhere in the globe, on the sunny beaches of Hawaii or the secluded jungle of South America or even the salubrious atmosphere of a private club in London, literally it is anywhere you wish. Our courses are available world-wide, 365/ 24/7, in 23 different languages. All you need is an internet connection! These courses can be accessed on your mobile device, tablet or on your computer.

Why us?

We are all accustomed to choices and with choices there are set parameters that we set before making a decision. Education is not an inanimate object it is not a pair of lifestyle shoes, shirt, blouse or meal. Education is the keystone of your life and we encourage you to choose as you see fit. Our criteria suits those that are openminded, cultural adept, eager to learn on a holistic basis and not just facts and figures- regurgitating them out like an antiquated calculator with a paper roll attached. We want, we demand, our graduates to be beacons of openness, approachable and wanting to share experiences and knowledge with all within the industry. We all begin our life with the currency of youth and this applies to not only APWASI but also other organizations like us across this globe. We bring fresh beginnings with new education methods to match the new trends, embrace the plethora of learning styles and together our courses are definitive in character that are matchless in the devotion given to their creation. If you value the future as we state, “learning for the future” then we are your future.

How can I learn this without tasting?

One cannot learn to swim without water and neither do we expect you to learn without tasting . We have at the end of each course a selection of wines we recommend you to try using the skills you have acquired on the wine essentials course we offer. Through this method you can increase your practical wine tasting skills. Our courses allow you to evaluate the wines by understanding the “why” and “the how”.

I don’t know how to taste.

The ability to taste wine is universal. The methodology to understanding wine and appreciating wine is not universal and that needs to be understood through concept, tasting and recording. This we achieve by having you take the wine essentials course we have as a prerequisite to any courses you select. Within this course lie the secrets to identifying, nosing and tasting wines and finally evaluate wines. It’s our pleasure to join you on this journey of adventure and bountiful knowledge. After taking this course you will learn and be able to taste wine with comfort.

Final Exam Information

For information on final exam procedures, please visit this link.

Dr. Clinton LeeDr. Clinton Lee has attained the highest qualification from the Wine Spirit and Education Trust based in London, the WSET Diploma and the Certified International Educator. He has over 80 million views globally on TikTok and Instagram about his wine and etiquette lessons.

He is an international wine lecturer, writer and critc. He has taught WSET programs and other wine courses both in Canada and internationally in China, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan Argentina, France, Hungary and Italy.