Profile of Kanonkop

This historic wine farm is among the best Pinotage producers in South Africa, celebrated for the longevity, complexity, and class it brings to the country’s signature grape variety. Run with meticulous care by fourth generation brothers Johann and Paul Krige, Kanonkop boasts an extensive holding of old bush vines, a major factor in the remarkable quality of Kanonkop’s Pinotage, which is arguably the best example available today in the Western Cape. Indeed, winemaker Abrie Beeslaar has a formidable track record with the variety and has taken Pinotage to new heights since he took over from the legendary Beyers Truter – no easy task!

Kanonkop takes its name from the Afrikaans for Cannon Hill, on which a cannon was fired in the 17th century as a means of alerting farmers in outlying areas that sailing ships had entered Table Bay for a stopover at Cape Town. The property has existed as a farm for centuries, however, the first vines were planted in 1910, with the first vintage made in 1941. Then, in 1973 Kanonkop began its modern history as a leading Stellenbosch wine estate. It was originally purchased by JW Sauer, a leading politician in the parliament of the Union of South Africa who fell in love with the farm at first sight. After Sauer died, Kanonkop was handed down from father to son, each successive generation leaving their inimitable mark and raising the quality of the wines to the glorious heights of today. They have also invested in making the winery a cultural attraction and Kanonkop now proudly hosts a gallery that features art from around 50 leading South African artists.

In recent times, Kanonkop has been riding high on a crest of prosperity, its wines finding adoring fans in markets as diverse as the US, UK, and Australia. The entire range is to be recommended, particularly the Cabernet Sauvignon and Paul Sauer label, a Bordeaux blend that effortlessly marries strength with elegance and balance. Like the superstar Pinotage produced at Kanonkop, it’s a rich, complex and age-worthy wine, with a refinement of fruit rarely encountered in the Cape. But then, what else do you expect from winemaker Abrie Beeslaar, already a living legend in South-African wine.

Wines produced

  • Kanonkop Kadette Rose

    100% Pinotage. A heavier style rose, produced from the Pinotage variety.

  • Kanonkop Kadette Cape Blend

    54% Pinotage, 29% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc. Fermented in open top concrete tanks, the wine is then aged for a period of 12-14 months in 2nd and 3rd fill French oak.

  • Kanonkop Kadette Pinotage

    100% Pinotage. Fermented in open top concrete tanks, the wine is then aged for a period of 14 months in 2nd and 3rd fill French oak.

  • Kanonkop Pinotage

    100% Pinotage. Fermented in open top concrete tanks, the wine is then aged for a period of 16 months in 75% new French oak.

  • Kanonkop Cabernet Sauvignon

    100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Fermented in open top concrete tanks, the wine is then aged for a period of 24 months in 50% new French oak. Approachable on release, the wine will benefit from cellaring.

  • Kanonkop Paul Sauer

    70% Sauvignon Blanc, 18% Cabernet Franc, 12% Merlot. Fermented in open top concrete tanks, the wine is then for a period of 24 months in 100% new French oak.

  • Kanonkop Black Label Pinotage

    100% Pinotage. Produced from low yielding, old bush vines the wine is fermented in open top concrete tanks. It is then aged for a period of 18 months in 100% new French oak.

Winery details


PO Box 19
Elsenburg 7607, Stellenbosch
South Africa
Tel (+27) 21 884 4656

WO Stellenbosch
Area under vine
101 Hectares (under vine)
Age of vines
30 years+ Low yields
Oak barrel origin
Abrie Breslaar
Krige family
Approximately 1.4 million bottles per annum, depending on the vintage
Grape varietals
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Pinotage

More information

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