L to R: Andries van Tonder, Helmie de Vries, Danie Terblanche and Willem Joubert

Six Wine and Brandy giants get honoured

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The vibrant and economically important South African wine and brandy industry is built on the shoulders of men and women who have, through the ages, dedicated their time and efforts on the promotion of the fruit of the vine. 

Veritas annually acknowledges the invaluable passion and drive with which these legends have shaped the sector throughout the span of their lives.

Half a dozen industry greats were handed the 2012 scroll of honour during the 22nd Veritas Awards ceremony: John Gainsford, Danie Terblance, Willem Joubert, Helmie de Vries, Andries van Tonder and Pierre Loubser.

John Gainsford, well known rugby player who was capped 33 times between 1960 and 1967, was indeed an esteemed representative of the Springbok emblem but later in life John chose to represent the wine industry.  He worked for Union Wine, Graham Beck and then DGB as their international director focusing on sales and promotions. For more than 30 years, even during the times when sanctions seriously impaired wine exports, John won over the palates of wine lovers in Germany, Switzerland, the UK and Mauritius.

Danie Terblanche was lauded for his years as MD of Union Wine and for service to the wine industry through membership of a variety of industry bodies.

Willem Joubert‘s involvement in the wine industry spans almost 40 years and Veritas honours him for his role as lecturer at the University of Stellenbosch and as General Manager at Ashton Cellar. Willem furthermore shared his knowledge and expertise on several industry bodies.

Veritas acknowledges Helmie de Vries for his valuable contribution of 40 years to the industry to producing quality wines as cellar master at Koelenhof Cellar and the training of many young wine makers.

Andries van Tonder has played an invaluable role serving the industry through his involvement of 30 years at the SA Liquor Brandowners’ Association (SALBA) – formerly known as the CWSI (Cape Wine and Spirit Institute).

Pierre Loubser has been involved in the rewriting of many of the liquor laws which govern this vibrant and growing industry.  His contribution to the Estate Wine Producers and Pinotage Association has also been applauded.

“Veritas wishes with these awards to honour living legends that have gone the extra mile on behalf of the South African wine industry,” explains Charles Hopkins, chairman of the SANWSA. “Personalities previously honoured as wine legends include prominent retired wine makers, brandy masters, viticulturists, industry leaders, researchers, wine writers, wine ambassadors and wine personalities.”

Visit the Veritas website for more information | contact Elsabé Ferreira at tel +27.21863 1599 | or email

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