Riding the Epic with Sauvignon Blanc, and Winning Gold

Thys Louw, left, from Diemersdal with cousin Thys after Stage One of the Epic.

Diemersdal wine maker Thys Louw had just finished the first stage of the world’s toughest mountain-bike race, the Cape Epic, when he heard that he’d won two gold medals. Not on the bike, but at the Concours Mondial du Sauvignon 2018, the world’s premier international showcase for Sauvignon Blanc wine. Diemersdal took gold for the MM Louw 2016 and Eight Rows 2017, two of the wines from this Durbanville estate renowned for its interpretations of South Africa’s and one of the world’s most popular white wine varieties.

This year’s Concours Mondial du Sauvignon was held in Gratz, Austria and attracted 950 entries from 26 countries. Diemersdal was one of only nine South African producers to win gold.

“Myself and my cousin, also Thys, are riding the Cape Epic with the words ‘Sauvignon Blanc’ on our shirts due to our commitment to this great wine,” says Thys. “So if the luck of winning two golds at the Concours Mondial was brought upon by our branding, perhaps we’ll finish the race too!”

Thys says that two gold medals at the world’s leading Sauvignon Blanc competition is a stunning achievement and the result of the Diemersdal team’s focus on this variety, as well as the ideal terroir of the Durbanville region.

“Cool maritime climate, ideal soils and dryland farming – those are the factors making our Durbanville area capable of competing with the world’s best when it comes to Sauvignon Blanc,” says Thys. “Our experience with Sauvignon Blanc has shown unirrigated vineyards to produce wines with extraordinary complexity and depth which gives Diemersdal and Durbanville a unique stake in this category.”

He is especially pleased with the showing of the Diemersdal MM Louw Sauvignon Blanc, a wine with added complexity due to it being fermented in French oak.

“While I have always had faith in the pure fruit expression of our unwooded wines, it is terrific to see accolades coming the way of Sauvignon Blanc fermented and aged in wood,” says Thys. “This proves that not only Diemersdal and Durbanville, but South Africa, too, is gaining a reputation for a diverse range of Sauvignon Blancs. And being the white wine the world wants more-and-more of, I see this variety as an increasingly important player in South Africa’s wine offering. But now it’s back to the bike.”

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