Since the founding of the Novare SA Terroir Wine Awards in 2006 in which the national and regional winners of terroir-driven cultivar wines, red and white blends, rosé, sparkling wines and dessert wines are announced, various trophies have been added and this year the first Novare Trophy for SA Top Terroir Producer will be awarded.
The SA Terroir Wine Awards was established to acknowledge wines which truly portray a specific viticultural terrain. In seven of the eight years since, record entries were received, despite the strict Wine of Origin regulations which make it so exclusive. This year’s judges are Duimpie Bayly, Samarie Smith, David Biggs, Neil Ellis, Andrea Freeborough, Carmen Stevens and Karen Glanfield.
The other two trophies which are awarded annually are the Novare Trophy for Top Wine Area and the Novare Trophy for Top Wine Estate. South Africa’s Top 5 estate wines are also announced. This wine competition is South Africa’s greatest acknowledgement of the excellent combination of creative viticulture and oenology, with a specific terroir as key to the end product.
The trophy for the Top Producer is awarded to the cellar whose wines receive the highest scores from the judges, irrespective of whether the wines originate in a single vineyard, estate, ward or small district which is not divided into wards. Only wines which comply with these Wine of Origin regulations may enter for the competition.
Besides single vineyard wines, one of South Africa’s best portrayals of a specific terroir are in wines which originate in a ward and here the Demarcation Committee of the Wine and Spirit Board plays a big role. According to the chairperson of the Demarcation Committee and one of the judges, Duimpie Bayly, nature determines the boundaries which demarcate a distinctive terroir, thus qualifying it as a separate ward.
“Viticultural terrains which are demarcated as wards qualify on scientific grounds. Every area must be as uniform as possible regarding soil and climate, as well as other natural aspects such as mountain ranges and rivers. The key is that a viticultural terrain must have its own character within the specific area, to qualify as a separate ward,” says Duimpie Bayly.
Currently there are 67 wine wards in South Africa and 11 small districts which are not subdivided into wards. In addition there are 200 units certified for single vineyard wines and 179 for the production of estate wines.
“This year’s Novare SA Terroir Wine Awards will once again acknowledge the distinctiveness of South Africa’s wine industry based on wines created from specific viticultural terrains. We are proud to be associated with these awards, which are in accordance with Novare’s philosophy of constant innovation and progressive advances,” says Johan Henn, chief executive of Novare.

Entries close 24 June. Delivery of samples: 26 June and 27 June. Judging: 9, 10, 11 July. Awards ceremony: 30 July.

The entry forms as well as Concept and Catalogue are available on, or contact Elma Brand, project coordinator (tel. 021 863 0397;, or Marius Labuschagne, project leader (tel. 021 975 8166;

Marius Labuschagne (founder of the SA Terroir Wine Awards), Marina van Til (marketing manager of Novare) and Duimpie Bayly (chairperson of the Demarcation Committee), with the Novare Trophy for Top SA Terroir Producer which will be awarded for the first time this year.