60 years ago, the very first SA Young Wines Show was held. Originally used as a measure of how much farmers were to be paid per tonne for their crops, it has now evolved into a show honouring wines showing the most promise for the new release. The winners were announced with some unfamiliar names, and some more recognisable ones, all claiming top prizes.
General Smuts Trophy
The overall winner of the show who walks off with the General Smuts Trophy was uniWines – a new collaboration between Groot Eiland Cellar, Daschbosch and Nuwehoop, all situated in the Rawsonville/Breedekloof area. Their Ruby Cabernet was judged best in show – the first time this variety has ever been awarded the General Smuts Trophy – and Cellarmaster Nicolaas Rust collected an impressive cup at the awards ceremony yesterday.
By combining forces, the cellars’ aim was to raise the quality level and awareness of the region and their wines and it seems that with this success, they are well on the way to achieving that aim.
Pietman Hugo Trophy
The other big winner of the day was Spier Wines who claimed the Pietman Hugo Trophy for the five wines with the highest marks. Spier has been a regular winner at wine shows both locally and overseas for many years now, and three of their wines (Merlot, wooded Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc) were SA Young Wine Champions.
Other winners included Badsberg Cellars (White Blend and Dessert Wine), Vergelegen (Red Blend and Cabernet Sauvignon), Merwida (Sauvignon Blanc), Flagstone (Semillon) and De Krans (Port). 'The pleasing number of entries (2, 124 this year) gives a clear indication that the country’s oldest and largest wine show is alive and kicking,' says Charles Hopkins, chairman of the South African National Wine Show Association (SANWSA). 'The feedback derived from participating in this esteemed competition proves invaluable in terms of the variety of decisions a wine making team has to make with each new vintage.'
During the Awards Luncheon Charles Hopkins announced that the Board of the SA Young Wine Show has approved a bottle sticker for the General Smuts Trophy wine. This label will be applied once the award winning wine has been bottled. The producer will have to comply with all the necessary documentation approved by the Wine and Spirit Board to qualify for the usage of the stickers.
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