Terrific Terroir sets standards for Wine Competitions

Terroir winners: Front from left are Adam Mason (Klein Constantia), De Wet Lategan (Bergsig), Christo Pienaar (Nuy), David Nieuwoudt (Ghost Corner) and Jacques Bruwer (Bon Courage). Middle from left are Marinus Bredell (Fort Simon), Conrad Vlok (Strandveld), Bartho Eksteen (Hermanuspietersfontein), Charles Hopkins (De Grendel), Susan Perold (SoetKaroo) and Andr+¬ du Toit (Springfontein). Behind from left are DP Burger (Glenwood), Johnnie Calitz (Anura), Albertus van Rensburg (Avondrood), William Wilkinson (Wildekrans) and Brett Rightford (Diemersfontein).
Terroir winners: Front from left are Adam Mason (Klein Constantia), De Wet Lategan (Bergsig), Christo Pienaar (Nuy), David Nieuwoudt (Ghost Corner) and Jacques Bruwer (Bon Courage). Middle from left are Marinus Bredell (Fort Simon), Conrad Vlok (Strandveld), Bartho Eksteen (Hermanuspietersfontein), Charles Hopkins (De Grendel), Susan Perold (SoetKaroo) and Andr+¬ du Toit (Springfontein). Behind from left are DP Burger (Glenwood), Johnnie Calitz (Anura), Albertus van Rensburg (Avondrood), William Wilkinson (Wildekrans) and Brett Rightford (Diemersfontein).

WINE COMPETITIONS being the lottery that they are, should at least offer spirited events when it comes to announcing the results after the deliberations of the esteemed judges. After a decade and some in the wine industry, I find most of the awards functions for the various SA wine competitions about as much fun as a budget speech for a Germanic country. In most instances, ceremony masters and organisers of said competitions ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ not to mention the precious sponsors ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ go to pontificating lengths to make the event long-winded, boring and spiritless. Exactly what the wine industry should not be about.
My first sojourn to the SA Terroir Wine Awards this year promptly set about trashing my selfish preconceptions. It was one of the most fun-filled events on the wine calendar ever since the black-tie gala where a well-known female winemaker dipped a set of just-removed underwear into one of the wine glasses on our table.
The Terroir Awards makes no bones about being there for the most important part of the units that make up wine competitions, namely the winemaker.
For each award, a winemaker got onto the stage for an ad-lib speech. This varied from the tongue-in-cheek humour of Charles Hopkins to the Herman Charles Bosman-like delivery by Susan, Perold from SoetKaroo.
Master of Ceremonies Johan Rademan, he of SABC radio fame, also did a sterling job to get the humour and genuine feel of the event going.
Terroir Awards is the hottest wine competition on town. And congratulations on Marius Labuschagne for the idea and the backbone in putting it all together.
I will thus use his press release in full!
Press Release ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ SA Terroir Awards 2009
After a record 205 entries for the fourth annual SA Terroir Wine Awards, three wineries this year made their mark by entering two national winners, namely Bon Courage Estate near Robertson, Springfontein Estate near Stanford and Strandveld Vineyards near Elim.
Bon Courage delivered the Top Cabernet Sauvignon with the Bon Courage Inkara Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 and Top Colombar with the Bon Courage Andre’s Fame 2009, both are estate wines., Springfontein’s two national winners are also estate wines, the Springfontein Jonathan’s Ridge Pinotage 2007 for the Top Pinotage and Springfontein Jil’s Dune Chenin Blanc 2008 for the Top Chenin Blanc. It is the second year consecutively that Springfontein entered the Top Chenin Blanc. Strandveld Vineyards’ national winners are Strandveld Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc 2008 for the Top Sauvignon Blanc and First Sighting Shiraz 2007 for the Top Shiraz. Both are certified as Wine of Origin from the Elim ward.
The bordering wine growing areas from Hermanus to Elim, namely Walker Bay and Cape Agulhas, this year delivered seven of the twenty National Certificate winners, those from Springfontein and Strandveld, as well as the Hermanuspietersfontein Swartskaap 2007 for the Top Cabernet Franc (second year consecutively), David Nieuwoudt Ghost Corner Semillon 2008 for the Top Semillon (second year consecutively) and Wildekrans MCC 2007 for the Top Sparkling wine.
This year was the first time a Ros+¬ wine received a National Certificate at the annual SA Terroir Wine Awards and it is a Pinotage Ros+¬ from the Goudini ward in the Breedekloof, the Avondrood Blush Pinotage Ros+¬ 2009.
Another first National Certificate winner was for a red Muscat d’Alexandrie dessert wine from Prins Albert in the Klein Karoo, the SoetKaroo Red Muscat d’Alexandrie 2008.
“There are only two red Muscat d’Alexandrie (Hanepoot) wines in South Africa and the majority of the judges insisted that this wine must be awarded for its uniqueness and high quality. The National Certificate is for the red Muscat d’Alexandrie cultivar and not for the top dessert wine,” says Marius Labuschagne, project leader of SA Terroir Wine Awards.
The other National Certificate winners are Diemersfontein Thokozani 2008 (Wellington ward) for the Top Red Blend, De Grendel Winifred 2008 (Durbanville ward) for the Top White Blend, Signatures of Doolhof Malbec 2007 (Wellington ward) for the Top Malbec, Fort Simon Platinum Collection 2008 (estate wine, Bottelary) for the Top Viognier, Glenwood Chardonnay Vignerons Selection 2008 (Franschhoek ward) for the Top Chardonnay, Anura Petit Verdot Limited Release 2007 (Simonsberg-Paarl ward) for the Top Petit Verdot, Klein Constantia Vin de Constance 2005 (estate wine, Constantia) for the Top Natural Sweet Wine, Bergsig Cape LBV 200 (estate wine, Breedekloof) for the Top Port and both Nuy White Muscadel 2004 and Nuy Red, Muscadel 2003 (Nuy ward) for the Top Muscadel. Nuy last year also entered the Top Muscadel.
The three wines which received the highest score and which were rated highest of all the wines entered are the Klein Constantia Vin de Constance 2005, Springfontein Jil’s Dune Chenin Blanc 2008 and Diemersfontein Thokozani 2008.
SA Terroir Wine Awards, with the cooperation of the Wine and Spirit Board, strictly apply the rule that only wines certified as single vineyard, estate or from a specific ward can participate.
Most entries were Shiraz (30), followed by Sauvignon Blanc (25), Red Blends (22), Chardonnay (17), Pinotage (14) and Cabernet Sauvignon (14). The organisers were quite surprised with the number of natural sweet wines that were entered, ten in total, of which most were Noble Late Harvest wines.
The judges were Charl Theron, Dave Hughes, David Biggs, Elsa Carstens and Clive Torr.
Johan Henn, CEO of Novare Actuaries and Consultants, the sponsor of SA Terroir Wine Awards, said: “This sponsorship fits in well with our business philosophy, which is to look for unique opportunities that contribute to the development of the South African investment environment and economy. Novare’s vision of entrepreneurial spirit, continuous innovation and creativity is reflected in the SA Terroir Wine Awards that recognise wine-making excellence.”
Novare is owned by the Mvelaphanda Group Limited (50.1%) and currently manages assets of over R70 billion. The group consists of Novare Actuaries & Consultants, Novare Investments, Novare Botswana, Novare Actuaries Africa and Novare Equity Partners.
The results were monitored and verified by Pierre Groenewald, Chartered Accountant from Novare.

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