The Novare SA Terroir Wine Awards were founded eleven years ago and for the first time this year the Novare Trophy for South Africa’s Top Single Vineyard Wine will be awarded. There is no doubt that the ultimate portrayal of a terroir (French term for wine terrain) is a single vineyard wine. The soil and climate of that vineyard will stand out if the right cultivar was planted there.

The other trophies are for the Top Terroir Producer, Top Wine Estate and Top Wine Area. Besides the trophies and national winners of specific styles and cultivars, South Africa’s Top 5 Estate Wines are also announced on stage. Another important part of the competition is the fact that the top wines from each of the different areas are also announced in the results.

“There was great consensus that it is time to award a trophy to South Africa’s top single vineyard wine. If the single vineyard wines’ entries reach a certain number, it is also our aim to select South Africa’s Top 5 Single Vineyard Wines,” says Marius Labuschagne, founder and project leader.

According to Carin Stemmet, Manager: Certification Services of SAWIS, a total of 829 single vineyard wines have been certified since the 2005 vintage. To qualify as a single vineyard wine, the vineyard involved must be registered with the Wine and Spirits Board, which is the responsibility of the Demarcation Committee.

“A single vineyard cannot exceed the surface of 6 hectares. It can consist of various homogeneous blocks, but must clearly show as one unit. Every separate single vineyard wine must receive its own production record and be continuously handled separately. It makes the administration tasks, from pressing the grapes up to certification, a bit easier”.

South Africa’s Wine of Origin System makes it possible for the panel to judge wines that are from specific wine terrains. Only wines certified as wine of origin single vineyard, estate-produced, from a ward or small district not divided into more than one ward, may take part.

This year’s judges include Elize Coetzee, David Biggs, Karen Glanfield, Kris Snyman and Pierre Marais.

Entries close on 21 June. The delivery of samples must take place on 23 and 24 June, and the awards function is on 27 July. The entry forms as well as the Concept and Catalogue are available on, or contact Elma Brand (tel. 021 863 0397;

For more information contact Marius Labuschagne at tel. 021 975 8166, e-mail

Candice Danneberg (head of marketing: Novare) and Marius Labuschagne (founder and project leader of SA Terroir Wine Awards) with a sample of the first ever Novare Trophy for the SA Terroir Top Single Vineyard Wine.
Photographer: Julian Kruger