The 17th presentation of the SA Terroir Wine Awards will be taking place this year and the judging is being done this week (12 - 14 July) at Nederburg and the Manor Restaurant in Paarl.

Five trophies are at stake, namely for overall Top Wine, Top Estate, Top Single-vineyard Wine, Top Producer and Top Ward. In addition, national winners of all the cultivars and styles entered for this year’s Terroir Awards will be named.

Only wines certified as single-vineyard wine, estate-produced wine and wine from a ward or district not divided into more than one ward, are judged. 

Three new financial partners are supporting the SA Terroir Wine Awards this year, WinField United South Africa, SA Litho and DSTV kykNet’s Ontbytsake.

WinField United South Africa offers innovative solutions and projects to help drive progress in agriculture. One of the projects with which the company is strongly involved, is the Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) Project. Through the CSA project Metos SA installs 200 weather stations in the Western Cape and TerraClim utilises weather station data to model climate change in this province at a higher resolution. In this manner the agricultural industry is equipped to better manage the risks of climate change.

The wine industry is characterised by a strong focus on the climatic influences impacting on it and Niel Kruger, head of marketing at WinField United South Africa, says, “Our partnership with the SA Terroir competition is the first step to becoming involved with South Africa’s choice wines, right from the vineyard to the end-product.”

SA Litho Label Printers, in turn, believes a great product is nothing without great packaging. In today’s highly competitive retail environment, leaving a lasting impression on your customers means making your first one really count. 

As industry leaders, SA Litho Label Printers combines advanced technology with ingenuity to produce quality packaging and print solutions that ensure your brand owns the shelf. “We are proud to partner up with the SA Terroir Wine Awards, where the high quality and uniqueness of the wine region’s terroir is celebrated along with the winemaking process,” says Dawrian Salies, general manager of SA Litho Label Printers.

Regarding Ontbytsake as partner, they changed ownership at the end of last year and the programme is seen as the ideal platform to promote business which is close to the new owners’ hearts. These ‘heartfelt’ matters include promoting tourism and associated industries like wine production. Thus, extensive exposure is given weekly on Ontbytsake, kykNET channels 144 and 145, to several wine producers, including new entrants in South Africa, but at a fraction of the normal airing costs. 

“By joining as sponsor and also giving exposure to the SA Terroir competition, we give viewers the opportunity to get to know choice wines and thereby also acknowledge the winemakers for their extraordinary abilities,” says Louis Mclaren, owner and executive producer. 

Christo Pienaar, chairperson of the SA National Wine Show Association, which presents the SA Terroir Wine Awards, says they are looking forward to work together with the new partners. “It’s exciting news to have companies which wish to further invest in the wine industry!” 

At this growing and thriving competition, where wines deriving from grapes in specific wine terrains are judged; hence the term “terroir wine awards” – which represents something special for the Cape winelands and for wine lovers with a passion for the country’s excellent and diverse terrains. 

The SA Terroir competition originates from the highly acclaimed Wine of Origin system that was established 50 years ago under the Wine, Other Fermented Beverages and Spirits Act, Act 1957 in 1972. It came into force on 1 September 1973 and has been amended several times since. It is considered worldwide as one of the very best systems to confirm the integrity of wine in the bottle and what appears on the label.

The judging panel comprises Jeff Grier (chairperson), owner-cellarmaster of Villiera Wines and Cape Wine Master; Elunda Basson, cellarmaster of Steenberg; Brendan Butler, winemaker and manager of Meinert Wines and Cape Wine Master; Samarie Smith, wine writer and wine specialist, and Anton Swarts, senior winemaker and wine purchasing manager at Spier and Cape Wine Master. 

The results and winners will be announced at a luncheon on 18 August and will be televised on Ontbytsake on Saturday 3 September on channel 144. 


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The Judges

( NR 2439) Dawrian Salies, GM of SA Litho; Elunda Basson from Steenberg; Brendan Butler (CWM) from Meinert Wines; Gabrielle Redelinghuys, WinField United Project Lead: Strategic and Incubation Projects; Jeff Grier, Chairman of the panel of judges, (CWM) from Villiera, Samarie Smith, Wine writer and Anton Swarts (CWM), senior winemaker and wine purchasing manager at Spier.

Louis Mclaren, owner and executive producer of Ontbytsake, who could not attend the judging today.

 ( NR 2383)       Dawrian Salies, GM of SA Litho; Anton Smuts, Chairman of Vinpro;  Gabrielle Redelinghuys, WinField United Project Lead: Strategic and Incubation Projects; Christo Pienaar, Chairman and Bennie Howard, Vice Chairman SA National Wine Show