Wine not?

We’re always on the lookout for unique experiences that give our travel destinations a special charm. That of course includes the food and wine specialties that our top accommodation choices offer, which is exactly how we experienced first-hand that Singita’s sterling wine selection is anything but ordinary.

Our YPA guests often marvel at the attention to detail and effort that is evident in the choice and quality of wines on offer at Singita’s various lodges – some of our favorite properties across Africa. The secret behind Singita’s guest-focused wine culture is their General Manager of Premier Wine Direct, François Rautenbach.

As we’ve come to know François over the years, we realize that it’s his close working relationships with specific winemakers that ensures his finger is on the pulse of sought-after allocations (some of which are not available to any other buyers).

We caught up with François recently to chat about some of his top wine picks for this summer. Here’s what he had to say about a few secret gems…

1. Uva Mira Mountain Vineyards (Stellenbosch)

  •   The location: Enjoy sensational views from the wine estate, which looks out toward Table Bay and Table Mountain in the distance.
  •   The wine: According to François, the estate is producing some sensational whites and reds. “Particularly a Chardonnay made in a modern, fresh style, with a great depth of flavor,” he says.
  •   The latest: Uva Mira has some new plantings which means there will be more availability of these great wines.

Uva Mira

2. Lievland Vineyards (Stellenbosch)

  •   The location: A beautiful setting in a bowl, situated at the foothills of the Simonsberg Mountains.
  •   The wine: “They’re producing some lovely wines,” François adds, “including an old-vine Chenin and one of the best Rosés in South Africa, made in a dry, Provençal/New York style.”
  •   The latest: Lievland Café has just been restored and opened. The creative behind the menu is Head Chef Gareth Goliath. 

3. Mossop Max, by independent winemaker Miles Mossop

  •   The latest: Miles Mossop, previously the winemaker at Tokara for 25 years, is now making his own wine.
  •   The wine: Look out for Mossop Max, a Bordeaux style red blend (Cabernet-based). As François says, “Miles has just released a new Max vintage, and I must say, our Singita guests have loved this wine! The Mossop wines include a white blend (called Saskia), and a special sweet wine (called Kika) – all named after his children.” Brand new release is a rare old-vine Sauvignon Blanc, distinctly South African yet reminiscent of Bordeaux white wines.
  •   The location: It can be difficult to purchase these wines but at the moment you can find three vintages of Mossop Max on the Singita Ebony Lodge menu.


Singita is celebrating an amazing 30 years of pioneering eco-tourism this year. If you’d like to know more about how we weave their lodges across South Africa, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Rwanda into our custom safari itineraries, get in touch.

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