Neil Ellis

West Coast Sauvignon Blanc – 2022

Region: South Africa - Stellenbosch

Neil Ellis

Neil Ellis is a South African wine industry icon and one of the early pioneers to bring quality levels up to world class standards. The winery sits 5 miles east of the town of Stellenbosch in the Jonkershoek Valley. It was founded in 1993 with the philosophy to source grapes from the top growers of the region. The eco-friendly winery produces wines from the regions of Stellenbosch, Darling, Darbanville and Elgin.

The Wine

Vineyard Profile

Vineyards in the rolling hills of Groenekloof near Darling.

  • Climate: Cooling effects of the Benguela Current and constant south-east wind
  • Soils: Decomposed granite and clay
  • Vine Training System: Bush-trained
Harvest Notes
  • Meticulous farming and harvest
  • Grapes carefully selected at cellar
  • Crushed and fermented at cool temperature using neutral yeasts in stainless steel tanks
  • Aged on lees to create texture and viscosity
Winemaker's Notes

Dining on the West Coast is usually a barefoot, feel-the-sand-between-your-toes type of occasion. The region has a cool climate but warm, inviting people who love to entertain. A moody morning mist leaves the most delicate imprint of salinity on the grapes. Slow, gentle ripening creates an ideal balance between fruit flavors and freshness.

Fresh fish or shellfish on the braai sings in the company of this wine. The bright acidity and ripe fruit flavors complement crunchy summer salads and cheesy vegetable dishes.

Wine Summary

Inaugural vintage; 85% Sauvignon Blanc, 15% Chenin Blanc; alcohol: 13%; hilly vineyards of Groenekloof near Darling; decomposed granite and clay soils; bush-trained vines; cool southeast winds; careful berry selection at cellar; fermented using neutral yeasts at cool temperatures in stainless steel tanks; aged on lees to add complexity and texture.

Technical Information
  • 85% Sauvignon Blanc, 15% Chenin Blanc
  • Alcohol: 13%
  • Total Acidity: 6.5 g/l
  • pH: 3.44
  • Residual Sugar: 2.0 g/l


“For Thanksgiving, $20 Wines Under $20” from The Pour by Eric Asimov, 11/16/2023

Lively and energetic, versatile enough to go with anything on the Thanksgiving table.

New York Times, November, 2023

“7 of the Best White Wines From South Africa (That Aren’t Chenin Blanc)” by Edward Deitch, 1/31/2024

There’s unusual elegance and complexity in this wine from the Cape West Coast appellation. It’s got typical Sauvignon grassiness that underlies the green apple, melon, and white grapefruit flavors. There’s a salty mineral note and a hint of black licorice on the long finish. The wine has a rich mouthfeel. Stylistically, I think of it as New Zealand meets Sancerre.

Read the full article here

VinePair, January, 2024

General Info

Country South Africa
Region Western Cape
Appellation(s) Stellenbosch, Darling/Groenekloof, Elgin
Proprietor Neil Ellis
Founded 1993
Winemaker Warren Ellis
Annual Production 50,000 9L cases
Farming (Sustainable, organic, biodynamic) Sustainable