Showdown of the country’s numerous fine wine terrains

The 17th presentation of the annual SA Terroir Wine Awards which have been held over the past four years by the South African National Wine Show Association (SANWSA) is around the corner, with the entries closing in mid-June.

According to the SANWSA chairperson, Christo Pienaar, this competition serves as recognition for the knowledgeable winemaking teams which fully utilise and express the winelands’ numerous soil and climate terrains.

“The Cape winelands portray our country’s agricultural expertise which is
internationally respected. Our winelands, which yield top quality wine grapes from several cultivar types, are deemed extraordinary worldwide. For this reason, the excellent end-product in the bottle, of which all the grapes derive from individualist terrain traits or terroir, deserves these coveted awards. These aspects are fully expressed by the SA Terroir Wine Awards,” says Pienaar.

Only wines certified by the Wine & Spirit Board as wine of origin from a specific ward, a district not divided into more than one ward, an estate-produced wine and single-vineyard wine, may participate in the terroir competition.

Since the SA Terroir Wine Awards have been taken over from private organisers by the SANWSA – which also presents the authoritative Veritas Awards – more than ten new wards have been approved and demarcated by the Wine & Spirit Board as individualistic wine terrains.

A prime example of this is the Stettyn Ward near Villiersdorp in the Worcester District. In the first year that Stettyn Family Vineyards could participate with wines of origin, this winery was awarded with the sought-after Trophy for the SA Top Terroir Producer.

This trophy was first awarded in 2014 and the winner was Jordan Estate in
Stellenbosch; followed by Nuy (Worcester), Bergsig (Breedekloof) twice, Groot Constantia (Constantia), Bon Courage (Robertson), Stettyn (Worcester) and Rietvallei (Robertson).

The national winner of each cultivar and wine style entered for the SA Terroir Wine Awards, is named annually. The top wines from the various cultivars and styles in the different areas are also announced. The Terroir Trophies for the Top Wine Estate, Top erroir Producer, Top Single-vineyard Wine, Top Area and Overall Top Wine from all the entries, are also awarded.

Entries for the competition this year close on 15 June and late entries on 24 June at a higher fee. The delivery dates of samples for judging are 23 and 24 June. The judging takes place on 12 - 15 July and the results are announced in August.

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