This year see the 10th Novare SA Terroir Wine Awards, founded in 2006 to recognize South Africa’s top quality wines which truly represent a specific viticultural terrain.

Over the past decade the national winners of this competition have clearly demonstrated that certain cultivars thrive in certain terrain’s soil and climate, while others produced various national winners from the same terrain.

Besides recognizing die national and regional winners, the Novare Trophy for Top SA Terroir Wine Estate, Top Wine Area and Top Producer are awarded, while the Top 5 Estate Wines are also announced. The one-off Novare Trophy for Top Terroir Achiever in 10 Years will also be awarded in 2015.

The following cellars have produced five or more national winners since the launch of the competition: Bon Courage, Cederberg, Neethlingshof, Doolhof, Anura, Bergsig, Jordan, Wildekrans and Hermanuspietersfontein.

An important aspect from day one was that, besides the national winners of the cultivar wines and wine styles applicable, the top wines from the different terrains also received recognition as the best from that area.

“South Africa’s Wine of Origin (WO) culture has come a long way and is also growing in other New World wine countries, especially the USA. That is why we laud the established industry organisations such as the Wine and Spirit Board and SAWIS for their role in the existence and effective application of WO. Both have given their full support to the SA Terroir Wine Awards since the start, and always their valuable inputs,” says Marius Labuschagne, founder and project leader.

The core of South Africa’s terroir culture is about wines which truly represent a certain viticultural terrain. Only wines certified as Wines of Origin from a single vineyard, estate, ward and district not divided in wards, may participate.

The need to identify the wine’s origin on the etiquette and in so doing making the soil and climate address part of the wine’s characteristics, is still very much alive in South Africa, and expanding. There is a new organisation in the wine industry which dedicates itself to the future existence of terrain-specific wine. The Cape Vintners Classification (CVC) was initiated a while ago and it will be interesting to see how the plan of action takes shape. The directors are Danie de Wet, Johann Krige, Johann Rupert, Duimpie Bayly, Neil Ellis, Don Tooth, Schalk Burger, Jean Engelbrecht en Gary Baumgarten. Charl Theron is the manager.

Currently there are 67 wine wards in South Africa and 10 small districts which are not divided into wards. In addition there are more than 230 units certified for single vineyard wine and more than 200 for the production of estate wines.

“Novare’s support of the wine industry includes the development of expert skills in agriculture. In cooperation with the Western Cape Department of Agriculture, we also sponsor the annual bursary for a talented and dedicated student at the Elsenburg Agricultural College, where about 80% of South Africa’s winemakers receive their training. As the entries for the competition have nearly doubled since 2006, so have Novare’s assets under management on behalf of clients grown to R224 billion,” says Marina van Til, head of marketing, Novare Holdings.

Caption: Marius Labuschagne (founder), Marina van Til (Novare), Charl Theron (technical coordinator) and Samarie Smith (judge) share a moment in the vineyard to celebrate this year’s 10th Novare SA Terroir Wine Awards.