Kanonkop has come from nowhere to take the highest place for a South African brand on this year’s Most Admired List (and position nr 32 globally), a reward for the commitment to high quality which has seen it become one of the country’s most respected premium wine producers.
The Stellenbosch Estate began making its own Estate-bottled wine as recently as 1973, the former South African rugby internartional turned winemaker Jan “Boland” Coetzee winning aclaim for its first vintages of Cabernet Sauvignon.
Today’s wine operation is now best known as a pioneer of Pinotage and arguably the best exponent of what has become South Africa’s specialist grape variety, thanks to Coetzee’s successor Beyers Truter, aka the king of Pinotage.
Current winemaker Abrie Beeslaar is only the third chief winemaker at the estate, whose most famed recent release was the 2015 vintage of the Paul Sauer blend, the first to be awarded 100 points in the annual South African wine industry report by UK writer Tim Atkin in 2018.
Around 40% of its 3 million bottles of annual sales are exported, with the most to the US, UK and Germany.
“We have seen some good growth in certain of our export markets with some new markets also coming on board”, says sales and marketing manager Deidre Taylor.