Boplaas achieves its 20th five-star with latest Platter unveiling

Nov 16, 2020

Boplaas achieves its 20th five-star with latest Platter unveiling

Boplaas Family Vineyards just received its 20th five-star rating from the authoritative Platter’s South African wine guide. In addition to this remarkable achievement, the renowned family-owned winery in Calitzdorp saw seven of its wines receive 4,5-stars this year too.

Five stars went to the Boplaas Cape Vintage Reserve Port 2018, an accolade previously achieved by amongst others, the winery’s 20YO Potstill Brandy and Heritage White Muscadel 2012. Very few wineries can claim this style diversity of achievement.

The news also underlines the consistency of quality that Boplaas passion has maintained over many decades.

The Boplaas 4,5 star wines unveiled among South Africa’s best last week, were:

  • Boplaas Gamka Red 2017, blend of Portuguese varieties Tinta Barroca and Touriga Nacional with a dash of Shiraz;
  • Boplaas Gamka Branca 2018, a blend of Chardonnay, Viognier, Grenache Blanc, Verdelho and Chenin Blanc;
  • Boplaas Ring of Rocks 2017 – a blend of Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Barroca and Cabernet Sauvignon;
  • Boplaas Touriga Nacional Family Reserve 2016, a compelling wine with boisterous aromatics, fine tannins and a deft balance of power and elegance;
  • Boplaas Bobbejaanberg Sauvignon Blanc 2019, a single vineyard wine grown in the Outeniqua mountain range near George;
  • Boplaas Cabernet Sauvignon Family Reserve 2017, crafted with an Old World approach; and
  • Boplaas Cape Vintage Port 2018.

Of these latest awards, the five-star port naturally enjoys special significance. Boplaas has long championed Portuguese grape varieties and been a leader in the making of local port-style wines. The Cape Vintage Reserve Port 2018 was crafted from four old vine Portuguese varieties – Touriga Nacional, Tinta Barocca, Touriga Franca and Souzão.  The fruit was hand-harvested at optimal ripeness.  Fermentation took place in traditional lagars with intense manual pigeage to extract optimal flavour, colour and tannins.  It was then fortified and matured for two years in old, large-format French oak barrels before being bottled, un-fined and unfiltered.

Portuguese grape varieties thrive in the Calitzdorp region because they are hardier and well-adapted to warmer climates. It is anticipated that they will play a bigger role as the impact of global warming intensifies.

The suitability of the Calitzdorp region for the varieties wasn’t immediately apparent, however. In fact, it was realised quite by chance.

It was during the 1970s that Boplaas patriarch Oupa Danie Nel returned from a Swartland visit with the usual mementos, which included a few bottles of Shiraz. Friends and neighbours made short work of the wine, so the decision was made that this was a variety to plant.

Vines were sourced and planted. Only later however was it discovered – in part by Carel, Oupa Danie’s son who is now Boplaas owner and cellar master – that something was amiss. Carel was still studying oenology at the University of Stellenbosch when it was revealed that his father’s vines were Tinta Barocca and not the intended Shiraz. A trip to Portugal followed and soon the Nels had befriended many of the Douro’s top port producers. Over decades they were exposed to fine fortified wines, acquiring the art of crafting them too.

The latest vintage 2018 Boplaas Cape Vintage Reserve Port is available from the cellar door and online store at R295 per bottle. Boplaas also has a range of older ports available online for purchase and delivery across South Africa.

For more information, send email to or call 044 213 3326. Boplaas is also on Facebook (

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