Ruby Cabernet tops the bill at the SA Young Wine Show awards, with a young Breedekloof company winning the much-sought after General Smuts Trophy.
A relatively young wine company has scooped the much sought after top trophy of the 2012 SA Young Wine Show. A Ruby Cabernet from uniWines Vineyards won the General Smuts trophy as the best young wine of the show. This is an exciting step up for cellar master Nicolaas Rust and his team as it follows on a SA Champion title in the category Other Red Cultivar for their Ruby Cabernet at last year’s awards ceremony. It is the first time in the history that this particular cultivar has won this prestigious trophy. The General Smuts trophy was first awarded in 1952 – 60 years ago.
uniWines was established some four years ago when Groot Eiland Cellar, Daschbosch and Nuwehoop – all from the Breedekloof area – combined forces. Groot Eiland won the General Smuts trophy with a Ruby Cabernet/Merlot blend in 2006.
Spier has also put in a stellar performance by securing the Pietman Hugo trophy for the highest marks for the best five wines entered. With a trio of SA Young Wine Champions on their scoreboard the prospects of this particular harvest seem extremely favourable for chief wine maker Frans Smit and his team. Spier’s stars were the Chenin Blanc (wooded), Chardonnay (wooded) and their Merlot (wooded).
“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.”
Vergelegen and Badsberg Wine Cellar tied with two SA Champions each. While the SA Champion White Blend went to cellar master Willie Burger and his team from Badsberg for their Chenin Blanc/Chardonnay, Vergelegen won the SA Champion Red Blend with their Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Cabernet Franc/Petit Verdot blend. Badsberg furthermore claimed the SA Champion Dessert Wine title for the second consecutive year with a Red Jerepigo, while the SA Champion Cabernet Sauvignon went to Andre van Rensburg and his team at Vergelegen.
Nine other cellars were awarded SA Champion trophies: Flagstone Winery’s Sémillon seems unstoppable in its winning streak as the SA Champion Sémillon title is theirs for the third consecutive year. Merwida Wine Cellar won the SA Champion Sauvignon Blanc and OWK Groblershoop the SA Champion Other White Cultivar with their Viognier. Bon Courage boasts with the SA Champion Natural Sweet White Wine again this year and Neethlingshof Estate with the SA Champion Noble Late Harvest.
The wooded Pinotage from Namaqua Wines (Spruitdrift) garnered the SA Champion Pinotage title, while the SA Champion Shiraz title went to Mountain Ridge Wines for their wooded Shiraz. In addition, De Krans is this year’s King of Port with their Port (intended for Cape Tawny) and Slanghoek Cellar walked away with the SA Champion Muscadel trophy for their Red Muscadel Jerepigo.
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.
2012 SA Young Wine Champions photo caption:
(Back l to r): Hein Janse van Rensburg (Namaqua), Jacques Bruwer (Bon Courage), Charl Myburgh (uniWines), Nicolaas Rust (uniWines), Johann Smit (Spier), De Wet Viljoen (Neethlingshof), Charles Hopkins (SANWSA Chairman), Frans Smit (Spier), Boets Nel (De Krans)
(Middle l to r): Johan Ehlers (Agri-Expo), Magnus Kriel (Merwida), Henri Swiegers (Badsberg), Paul Malan (Mountain Ridge)
(Front l to r): Riaan Liebenberg (OWK), Nico Grundling (Slanghoek), Willie Burger (Badsberg), Samantha De Morney Hughes (Vergelegen), Johan Jordaan (Spier), Gerhard Swart (Flagstone), Jacques Erasmus (Spier)
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