from the CellarSouth Africa Spotlight: Babylonstoren


South African producer Babylonstoren is one of the oldest Cape Dutch farms, and considered to be one of the best preserved farmyards in the Cape today. All of the more than 300 varieties of plants in the gardens of Babylonstoren are edible or have medicinal value. As such the garden’s ever-changing tapestry and rich bounty of produce, informs every aspect of Babylonstoren.

Their philosophy of truth and simplicity is best exemplified by the Babylonstoren logo, which consists of the pipe (representing the farm), the flower (representing the garden), and the bird (representing nature)–true to the area in which they are are situated (the slopes of the Simonsberg Mountain) and simplicity in making their wines as natural as possible.

Babylonstoren wines are produced in a state-of-the-art winery and are made to showcase the soils and climate where its grapes are grown. The winery has 72 hectares under vine, with their highest vines lying against Simonsberg at some 600 meters above sea level.


Enjoy the layers of fresh pear and peaches completed with a round and creamy mouthfeel.  Seventy percent of this wine underwent fermentation in stainless steel tanks for three weeks, after which it was racked of primary lees and kept on secondary lees for 7 months before bottling.  Thirty percent of the wine was fermented and matured in second- and third-fill 300 liter French oak barrels for 7 months, before being blended together and bottled.

$19.99 in our SOUTH AFRICA section


Grapes were given two hours’ skin contact in the press after which it underwent cold fermentation in stainless steel tanks for three weeks. The wine was then racked of primary lees and kept on secondary lees for three months before bottling. The strawberry and rose notes would pair beautifully with salmon, sushi, or charcuterie.

$15.99 in our ROSÉ section


Cultivars (42% shiraz, 22% cabernet sauvignon, 13% merlot,7% cabernet Franc, 9% malbec and 7% petit verdot) are harvested separately and vinified separately. Fermentation takes place on the skins for about seven days, after which it gets an extended maceration period of about one week. The wine then gets pressed into 30% new and 70% second- and third-fill 300 liter French oak barrels. After malolactic fermentation the wine gets racked and is then returned to the barrels for a total of 12 months. Aromas of pencil box, anisette, sweet tobacco, and chocolate with a palate of dark red berries and chocolate would pair beautifully with lamb, beef, or oxtail.

$16.99 in our SOUTH AFRICA section


Grapes are picked from eight different vineyard blocks on the slopes of the Simonsberg Mountain between the wine-growing areas of Franschhoek, Stellenbosch, and Paarl. The wine is matured in a combination of 40% new and 60% second- and third-fill 300 liter oak barrels for 18 months, before being bottled and matured for three months prior to release.. Expect aromas of red plum with blueberry perfumes with hints of sweet tobacco and cedarwood shavings. The palate is a fusion of dark fruits, cherries and cassis with a velvety texture creates this soft, multi-layered wine with well-rounded tannins and a lingering finish that would pair beautifully with beef, oxtail, or venison.

$24.99 in our SOUTH AFRICA section


Nebukadnesar is Babylonstoren’s flagship Bordeaux styled blend with 49% cabernet sauvignon, 25% merlot, 16% cabernet franc, 5% petit verdot, and 5% malbec.  All the wines were vinified separately and matured in new French oak barrels for 23 months.  Then the blend was made up and left in a tank for a month to marry before being bottled and matured for five months prior to release.   Expect  the intriguing fragrance of violets and thyme, intense blackcurrant, and underlying cigar-box on the nose and a superbly crafted palate with good balance of vibrant multi-layered dark red fruits supported by tight, well-honed tannins.  The wine handles the oak effortlessly and is opulent yet sophisticated with a long, compelling finish.  It is satisfying now, but will develop and unfold its many treasures over time.

$34.99 in our SOUTH AFRICA section