The great wines that portray the inimitability of South Africa’s diverse “terroir”, the French and international term for specific wine growing terrains, are highlighted at the South African Terroir Wine Awards.
The S A Terroir Wine Awards is the brainchild of Marius Labuschagne, renowned wine writer and marketeer from Durbanville. The competition was created to define the various terroir types of the Cape.
Labuschagne saw the gap in 2005 to start the SA Terroir Awards. He transferred the ownership in 2019 to the SA National Wine Show Association, an industry organisation which presents shows on behalf of the SA wine industry where it finds the ideal home for this terroir-driven competition.
Terroir, from the French for terre, meaning “land” is a buzzword in wine circles around the world, possibly often without full comprehension of the concept. Terroir is the basis by which the elements like soil and altitude come together to result in the radically different tastes and characters of wines grown in the same area or region. South Africa can be proud of the wine it produces and top quality terroir it delivers.
Since the strict rules of producing vineyards within a quota system in certain areas were stopped many years ago, many agricultural sites have come to the fore as prime winegrowing areas.
There is a definite increase in producers who want to portray the unique origins of their wines. The Cape winelands feature various areas which yield top quality wines from all cultivars and all styles and with the WO system it is possible to single out wines which truly represent specific soils and climates for evaluation. It is insightful to see annually which terrain yields the best wine from which cultivar.
In past years the Wine and Spirit Board has registered various new wine wards and wine districts after receiving applications from producers in those areas.
The S A Terroir Wine Awards honours the wines which truly portray South Africa’s different wine growing areas. This competition crowns the best wines brought forth by different soil and climatic factors in the different areas. Only products certified as Wine of Origin (WO) from a Single Vineyard, Estate, Ward or District (the latter not including more than one Ward) are eligible for entry. It is one of the world’s most exclusive wine competitions because of the Wine of Origin rules that apply here.