A year of world-class awards

The Spier winemaking team celebrated its successes.

Stellenbosch is celebrating a successful year as a wine and food destination thanks to a number of awards this year.

“The year 2017 will be remembered as another great demonstration of what fine produce and exceptional talent are capable of,” says Stellenbosch Wine Routes manager Elmarie Rabe. “While Stellenbosch is known for heritage, its reputation as the South African region with the most wine awards per capita is also a reflection of the outstanding pioneering work that keeps it at the forefront.”

The Prescient Cabernet Sauvignon Report 2017 revealed that 14 of a total 15 top wines selected, hailed from Stellenbosch. Similarly, at the Prescient Chardonnay Report 2017, 23 wines from Stellenbosch made it into the top 42 that scored 90 to 95 points.

At the Veritas Wine and Brandy Awards, Stellenbosch clinched no less than 29 out of the 71 Double Golds, whilst this year’s top three producers are also in Stellenbosch.

Stellenbosch-based Distell was named top achiever with seven double golds and 18 golds, and in the brandy category with six double golds and two golds.

Spier Wine Estate received the first Veritas Vertex Award for the competition’s overall champion wine – the 21 Gables Chenin Blanc 2015, as well the rank of second-best performer overall with six double golds and nine golds. In third spot was Kleine Zalze with four double golds and four golds. The Best Performer by Entry was Neil Ellis Wines in the category for ten wines or less, while Distell took top honours in the class for more than ten wines.

Platter’s South African Wine Guide five-star wines in its 2018 edition brought further joy. Stellenbosch clinched 36 out of the 111 five-stars awarded, with the guide’s top accolade, Winery of the Year, going to Stellenbosch producer, Raats Family Wine Estate, which garnered five five-star results.

At the ABSA Pinotage Top 10, More than half the winners hailed from the Stellenbosch region, while a local producer also collected a trophy in the Museum Class. The wineries that made the wines were Delheim, Flagstone, Kanonkop, Lanzerac, Neil Ellis and Stellenbosch Vineyards. The Stellenbosch winner in the Museum Class was the Neil Ellis Vineyard Selection Jonkershoek Pinotage 2007.

This year the Diners Club Young Winemaker of the Year Award also went to Wade Roger-Lund of Jordan Estate.

On the global front, Stellenbosch wines won four out of six varietal trophies at the International Wine & Spirit Competition, while the title of South African Wine Producer of the Year went to Kanonkop, and Kanonkop’s Abrie Beeslaar was also named International Winemaker of the Year – an accolade he collected in 2008 and 2015.

Glenelly Wine Estate owner, May de Lencquesaing, was given a Lifetime Achievement Award at the International Wine Challenge in London. The award honours a person in the trade that has shown dedication and commitment, and has made a significant difference to the global wine industry.

This year, Stellenbosch clinched eight nominations in the 2017 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards. The eight nominees were The Restaurant at Waterkloof Wines; Camphors at Vergelegen; Indochine at Delaire Graff Estate; George Jardine at Jordan Wine Estate Stellenbosch; Jardine Restaurant; Makaron Restaurant at Majeka House; Overture Restaurant; and, Terroir Restaurant at Kleine Zalze.

Stellenbosch Wine Routes destination marketing organisation was singled out for the third time as a champion among leading wine regions of the world at the UK-based Drinks International Wine Tourism Challenge, winning best promotional body, which it previously did in 2014 and 2015.

For more information about the Stellenbosch region, contact Elmarie Rabe at 021 886 8275, info@wineroute.co.za or visit www.wineroute.co.za