The wine critic and wine journalist John Platter is considered the South African "wine pope". Together with his wife Erica, he founded the wine guide John Platter's South African Wine Guide, published since 1978. The main part is the A to Z of South African wines & wineries. Here the wineries are characterized and recommended wines are discussed and evaluated. The wine rating system is based on the award of up to five stars, which are awarded in steps of half a star. Only the absolute best wines are given five stars. Interesting wines start with two and a half stars (good wine for every day), then go in half star steps to the absolute top wines with a maximum of five stars (superlative classics). Furthermore, the white wine, red wine and winery of the year are selected.
With descriptions about varieties, Regions and vintage the current developments in the South African wine scene are discussed. A special feature is the reference to specially selected travel tours that lead along the best wineries. The GPS coordinates are given at each winery. Other books by the author are "Traveling in Cape Wine County" and "Africa Uncorked". In the meantime, John Platter has largely withdrawn from the professional visit to the wineries and leaves a large part of the work to a 20-person tasting team. See also under wine review and wine address,