Amorim and the Great One

Jacques and Andr+¬ Bruwer checking up on some silverware.

CHECK out the half-full glass. Amorim Wine Magazine MCC Challenge might be remembered for the panel chairperson’s irresponsible blurping of the results prior to the event. But hey, how about Jacques Bruwer? Jacques the laid-back, no-airs dude who makes the wines at the Bon Courage farm in Robertson?

Jacques walked off with the award for top MCC this year for Bon Courage Jacques Bru+¬re Blanc de Blancs 2007. And it is not the first time he has received this desirable Amorim award: Bon Courage won the Cap Classique Challenge in 2004 with the Jacques Bru+¬re Brut Reserve 2000.

So are we getting all sweaty at Jacques’s 2nd, victory in the world’s premier MCC competition? Perhaps, but is it not time to sit back and think that ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ if awards and versatility were the sole criteria – Jacques might just be the best winemaker in the country.

When it comes to winemaking, Jacques is so diverse and multi-talented that you want to haul out the Ritalin to give him some kind of focus. But no, the focus is totally on making quality, no matter what the grape of style.

MCC? Sure ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ now one of the country’s top producers. Besides the Amorim Gongs, Jacques and team also won a Trophy for MCC at the International Wine and Spirits Competition in 2008.

When it comes to Shiraz and Chardonnay Bon Courage is also no slouch having won gold medals on the international stage during the Syrah and Chardonnay du Mondes, as well as Gold for Shiraz at the International Wine and Spirits Competition. Bon Courage is also a past winner of the Wine Magazine Shiraz Competition.

Pinot Noir? No hassle. Gold at Veritas. Jacques’s just had some Pinot left over from the bubbly harvest, bunged it into some barrels and well, that was that.

Muscadel? More Veritas Gold Gongs than Michael Phelps has Olympic Medals. Cabernet Sauvignon? Also Gold Veritas.

How about SAA Business Selection for Riesling?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-+?-+

The list goes-on-and-on.

Through all this, Jacques remains a quiet, unassuming and modest star of the South African wine industry. The recipe for success is simple: “Dad (Andr+¬) makes sure I get good grapes from the vineyard. My job is to turn each variety into a good wine that the public will enjoy, and at a price point where they feel they are getting exceptional value for money.”

With this no-nonsense approach and proven track-record, it is difficult not to see Jacques playing a huge role as a true icon of the South African wine industry.

Bon Courage and Robertson can justifiably feel proud of his achievements.

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