Saturday night saw the announcement of the winners of the Diners Club Winemaker of the Year competition 2012. The category this year was Dessert Wines and the well-deserved winner was Razvan Macici of Nederburg for his Private Bin Eminence 2007.
Razvan has been crafting award-winning sweet wines at Nederburg for many years following in the footsteps of the legendary Gunter Brozel who first pioneered this style in South Africa. The award could easily have been made for two other wines which were also amongst the finalists – the Winemakers Reserve NLH 2010 and 2011.
The Young Winemaker of the Year was won by Anri Truter of Beyerskloof for the 2010 Diesel Pinotage. Anri also has big shoes to fill, since his father, Beyers Truter, is one of the leading exponents of Pinotage with a track record going back decades. Anri’s award is the result of a lifetime spent in the family vineyards, learning his skills at a very young age, and augurs well for the future of Pinotage both in SA and overseas.
Diners Club was privileged to have the current International Wine and Spirit Board Winemaker of the Year, Neil McGuigan, CEO of Australian Vintage Ltd, join the panel of judges.
The panel was chaired by legendary wine critic and author Dave Hughes, Margaret Fry, Cape Wine Master; Nomonde Kubheka, winemaker at KWV; Cape Wine Master, Colin Frith; along with wine journalist, Neil Pendock, bio-technology expert, Margaret Fundira and the reigning Best Wine Steward, as nominated in the 2012 Diners Club Winelist Awards, Ewan McKenzie from La Colombe.