Top SA Wine Estate to be Revealed at Terroir Awards

Marius Labuschagne (Project Leader), Marina van Til (Marketing Manager of the sponsor Novare) and Charl Theron (Technical Coordinator) share a moment with the new Novare Top Wine Estate Trophy that will be awarded at the 2011 SA Terroir Wine Awards.

Big cajones. But then again, this is the ballsy Marius Lappies Labuschagne we are talking about. At his SA Terroir Awards this year, the award for South Africa’s Best Wine Estate will be made, an ambitious accolade if there ever was one and a result expected to raise as much controversy as the recent top class SA Chenin Blanc that was riddled with TCA, het secured under scew cap…

In any event, herewith more information on the forthcoming Top Estate Award. Press release from Lappies:

For the first time in the South African wine industry this country’s Top Wine Estate will be identified at the 2011 Novare SA Terroir Wine Awards, the annual wine competition where products certified as a wine of origin from a ward, estate or single vineyard are honoured. This competition has been running for six years and the emphasis is on wines that truly show an area’s specific soil and climate. That is what the French term “terroir” is used for internationally.

“One of the most iconic portrayals of a precise terroir wine is an estate wine. Wine producers who implement this wine of origin procedure on their wine estates indubitably deserve recognition. That is why the Novare Trophy for South Africa’s Top Wine Estate will come into force this year,” says Marius Labuschagne, founder of SA Terroir Wine Awards.

According to Charl Theron, technical coordinator of SA Terroir Wine Awards and part time tutor in Oenology at the University of Stellenbosch, estate wines are part of South Africa’s wine culture and something very special. “I am glad that the Novare SA Terroir Wine Awards will now give well deserved recognition to the country’s top wine estate. The debate among role players was whether the trophy should be awarded to the top estate wine or the top wine estate. The conclusion of the majority after several discussions was the top wine estate rather than the top estate wine.”

The winner of the Top Wine Estate Trophy will be selected on the basis of the number of wines selected for the final round of National Winners for SA Terroir Wine Awards, as well as the number of National Winners if applicable. To produce an estate wine the unit for the production of estate wine must be registered as an estate (it can be bordering farms), all grapes must come from the registered unit and the wine must be vinified and bottled on the registered unit. Only then can the word Estate be used on the label.

The Top Wine Estate Trophy follows the Novare Trophy for Top Wine Area that was established in 2010, based on the number of wines from a specific winegrowing area that were highly rated. Both the Top Wine Area Trophy and Top Wine Estate Trophy are floating trophies. The trophies are in addition to the annual National Winners of cultivar wines, red and white blends, dessert wines and sparkling wines, as well as recognition of top performing wines in specific areas. The scoring system is monitored and confirmed by a chartered accountant of the sponsor, Novare.

Last year 17 National Winners were selected and 79 wines were judged as the top wines from specific areas. The seven judges for 2011 are Altus le Roux, Andrea Freeborough, David Biggs, Dave Hughes, Erika Obermeyer, Guy Webber and Pierre Marais. The closing date for entries is 28 June. More information and entry forms are available on the website www.terroirwineawards, or contact Elma Brand, project coordinator, on tel 021 863 0397, e-mail, or Marius Labuschagne, project leader, on tel 021 975 8166, e-mail

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