Is it worth being in a wine club?

Written by Clifford Roberts; Photography Johan Viljoen

Shopping for wine online rocketed after Covid lockdowns and so did wine clubs, although many winelovers still wonder: is it worth being in a wine club?

We thought we’d unpack the answer, which is a big YES. At their most basic level, wine clubs unlock benefits that ordinary wine buyers don’t have access to. It’s also the best way to really get to know a region such as the Swartland for example – even if you’re located far from the region in question. The boom in online shopping was especially good for winelovers because it sparked new clubs and energised old ones.

Nonetheless, many regular wine buyers continue to miss out on the various benefits to signing up.

The benefits of a wine club

Savings will be high up on the list. Most wineries include discounts on the price of a bottle or case, or on delivery costs. Some of these savings extend even to premium ranges and exclusive wines. The cost benefits in most of these situations make a significant difference to the final total you eventually pay on checkout.

In addition, members often get early notification or even exclusive access to events happening at wine farms. These might be special winemaker functions or tastings of the latest vintages.

Winelovers who are members of a wine club will be able to benefit from curated expertise. This often comes in the form of special releases of flights of vintages compiled into a case. A winery might tie these in with the events mentioned above.

Wine farms often bring in new varieties that are perhaps more suited to a specific microclimate. Wines from these vineyards are often first offered to wine club members, especially if they’re only available in limited quantities. This means the chance to discover new wines under the same trusted label.

All these benefits of a wine club also come with regular supply and convenience of home delivery as standard. It is worth being in a wine club! No doubt.

In the Swartland, several wine farms have clubs or associations that seek to reward loyal customers. Among them are:

AA Badenhorst Family Wines – Making the (wine) circle bigger

The celebrated winery maintains a list of people who are notified of special events and wines. There are no set benefits or fees, but being on Die Lys gets you perks like being the first to know about upcoming events on Kalmoesfontein Farm or at the Badenhorst’s Saldanha Wine & Spirit Co; special deals on Krismis Bokse, mix cases of older vintages or single vineyard magnums.

To get onto Die Lys, simply email

Get some background on the winery, here.

Kloovenburg – Among the regional leaders in world-class wine

The Kloovenburg wine club can only be joined via the winery website. Benefits include 10% discount on wines; 5% discount on olives, its other famous crop; and, free delivery over R1 000.

Read more about Kloovenburg here, and about one of its pioneering vineyard of Lledoner Pelut.

Org de Rac – pioneer of organic premium

Org de Rac is one of South Africa’s pioneering organic wine farms. Where some wineries require you to purchase wine before becoming a member, its wine club offers free sign-up. Members also receive a 15% discount on purchases online and in Org de Rac’s tasting room; two free wine tastings per year at its tasting room; free delivery in South Africa; and exclusive offers and specials.

Once you have signed-up, ensure that you purchase any 30 bottles of Org de Rac wines over a 12-month period to continue with your benefits.

Swartland Winery – wines with a sense of place

The club at Swartland Winery is intended to build relationships with customers and grow the popularity of wines from the Swartland.

You qualify for membership after purchasing a case of six bottles at the winery. Every member receives an exclusive membership card, which entitles the holder to 10% off all future purchases from the tasting room.

As of February 2024, the club and the winery’s online shop were still in the process of integration. This means that you can join the club via the site to be notified of promotions and special deals. The discount benefit does however not extend to the e-shop, but you will be among the first to hear about wines on promotion and other special offers.  

To locate wineries in the Swartland, use this map. Now, there’s no more reason to ask: is it worth being in a wine club?

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