The 2013 World Blind Wine Tasting Championships took place on the Saturday the 12th of October at Chateau Larrivet Haut-Brion, next to Bordeaux in FRANCE. 16 countries competed to win the title held by Denmark in 2012.
Organised by “La Revue du Vin de France”; the oldest wine magazine in the world (founded in 1927); the World Wine Tasting Championship saw the first participation of a South African Team, from the national selections made at the South African Wine Tasting Championships 2013.
A team of five South-Africans, led by their coach, has been touring France for a full week, exploring diverse terroirs, improving their knowledge, and getting ready for the World event.
Chantelle Swanepoel, Gavin Whittaker, Khuselo Mputa, Roland Peens and Anton Swarts had to recognise 12 wines, selected from 9 countries, and served blind over a period of 2 hours. They had to find the main variety, the country of origin, the vintage, the region and the wine producer. A very difficult game when wines can be as diverse as 1998 Chateauneuf to Pape Rayas or 2010 Californian Roussane from Bonny Doon.
Team South Africa achieved a very honorable 12th position for our first participation under the cameras of French TV.
A road movie about this adventure will be released early in 2014, showing how Team South African bonded together, exploring the diversity of French terroirs and discovering the French lifestyle, interacting with local producers, showing that wine is a common language to all hedonists around the world, whatever community they originate from.
Final results are:
1 Belgium; 2- Denmark; 3- UK; 4- Andorra; 5- France; - 5 Germany ex aequo; 7- Luxembourg; 8- Russia; 9- China; 10- Finland; 11- Sweden; 12- South Africa; 13- Ireland; 13 - Canada (Québec); 13 Argentina ex aequo; 16- Spain
Team South Africa was composed of:
Chantelle Swanepoel (working for Steenberg)
Khuselo Mputa (Sommelier at Aubergine restaurant)
Gavin Whittaker (working for Lutzville Cellars)
Roland Peens (Manager of Wine Cellar)
Anton Swarts (Winemaker for Spier – replacement team member)
1- Gini Estate "La Frosca" (Italy) Soave Classico 2010 cultivar : Garganega
2- Lackner Tinnacher "Flamberg" (Austria) South Styria 2011 cultivar: Sauvignon Blanc
3- Vins d'Orrange Kama (South Africa) Western Cape 2012 cultivar: Chenin
4- Bonny Doon Cigare blanc (USA) Santa Cruz 2010 cultivar: Roussane (65%) et grenache (35%)
5- Château de Pommard (France) Burgundy Ladoix 1er Cru Gréchons 2010 cultivar: Chardonnay
6- René Mure (France) Alsace Clos Saint Landelin 2011 cultivar: Pinot noir
7- Château Rayas (France) Châteauneuf-du-Pape 1998 cultivar: Grenache
8- Te Mata (New-Zealand) Hawke's Bay Bullnose 2011 cultivar: Syrah
9- Atamisque (Argentina) Mendoza 2009 cultivar: Malbec
10- Alavaro Palacios Les Terrasses (Spain) Priorat 2009 cultivar: Grenache
11- Mount Langi (Australia) Victoria 2005 cultivar: Syrah
12- Château Coutet (France) Sauternes-Barsac 1989 cultivar: Semillon