IWSC celebrates best year yet for South African wines
The IWSC is celebrating its biggest and best year yet for South African wines, as the competition returns to Cape Town this week to present winning producers with their certificates and trophies.
More Gold and Gold Outstanding medals are being awarded to South African wines than ever before at the IWSC, following a 13.5% increase on wine entries from the country last year.
The results from the competition’s South Africa judging sessions, which took place in July at The Vineyard Hotel in Cape Town, are released today, 12 September, at CapeWine 2018.
Leading the pack is Stellenbosch-based winery Beyerskloof, receiving the IWSC trophy for South Africa’s signature grape variety, Pinotage.
The Pinotage Trophy, sponsored by the Pinotage Association, will be presented for Beyerskloof Diesel Pinotage 2014 (pictured), which IWSC judges praised for its “great concentration of flavours on the palate, silky smooth texture, and long finish with a hint of chocolate”.
Beyerskloof, along with a handful of other wineries, also had unusual success in receiving many medals for multiple different vintages of the same wine.
The trophy-winning Beyerskloof Diesel Pinotage was also awarded for its 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2016 vintages, while Beyerskloof Faith received Gold medals for its 2015, 2014 and 2011 vintages.
Warwick Wine Estate meanwhile was awarded for a range of vintages across four different wines – Warwick Blue Lady, Warwick Cabernet Franc, Warwick Trilogy, and Warwick White Lady – and Paarl-based winery Vilafonté received a raft of medals for its Series M vintages from 2005-2016.
Moving back to Stellenbosch, which keeps its status this year as the biggest quality region on show, the IWSC Chenin Blanc Trophy has this year been awarded to Spier, one of South Africa’s oldest wine farms, for its Spier 21 Gables Chenin Blanc 2016 (pictured).
Judges praised the wine for its “ripe melon and papaya overlaid with sweet almond and vanilla oak, complete and balanced palate, silky smooth with a lovely marriage of fruit and high quality oak.”
The IWSC team will be in South Africa this week to present Beyerskloof and Spier Wine Farm with their trophies at CapeWine 2018, alongside IWSC judge and Cape Wine Master Winnie Bowman.
“The IWSC is one of the most recognised and respected wine competitions worldwide. Judging is rigorous and wines are assessed blind by a panel, especially for their style and sense of place”, said Bowman.
“Judging specifically in the South African leg of the competition gives me an opportunity to see the diversity in styles in the different categories. South African wines are more and more highly regarded internationally.”
Search the full winner’s listing here, or join the IWSC in the Seminar Area at CapeWine 2018 from 12-14 September.
Featured image: Spier Wine Farm
- “As a start-up brand you focus hard on achieving credibility and creating awareness. Winning Gold Outstanding and the Mezcal Trophy provided us with a level of credibility and exposure that we simply could not have achieved on our own. The awards helped secure key listings in Harvery Nichols and Selfridges and certainly played a significant part in opening up dialogue with potential U.S importers and ultimately securing one. I thought hard about which competition to enter and what the return on that investment would be. I can say with absolute confidence that the IWSC was worth every penny.”David ShepherdFounder & Director, Corte Vetusto
- “IWSC is a very important competition to us in terms of showing consumers our quality. It's one of the competitions that we definitely enter on a yearly basis.”Ian ChangMaster Blender, Kavalan Distillery
- “Out of all of the awards, the IWSC is probably the most prestigious and most honest awards. You choose your judges very well and they're very good, honest, decent people. They do it for the love of the industry.”Sukhinder SinghMD, The Whisky Exchange
- “The IWSC is a very prestigious competition. The prestige is a great thing to be able to communicate to our customers who have great respect for it.”David PorterOperations & Buying, Lea & Sandeman
- “The IWSC represents everything, without a doubt. There's no better competition in the world where you can judge yourself not just against your countrymen but against the rest of the world.”Andy AndersonWinemaker, Takapoto Estate
- “Fantastic company and fantastic award . . . In the wine industry, having an award like this is such an accolade.”Claire GriffithsCommercial Director, Vina Cono Sur
- “It's one of the greatest international awards you can get. It's similar to an Oscar, if you like.”Lenz MoserWinemaker, Yantai Changyu Pioneer Company
- “Because of the number of international judges that are tasting the wines and the number of wines that are being entered, it’s a great privilege for us to receive this award. The history of the competition, the standing that it has amongst the international wine world and certainly amongst one’s peers, to be able to get an award at the IWSC means a lot. There are a lot of competitions around the world – this probably represents the top award you could get as a winemaker.”Gary & Kathy JordanWinemakers, Jordan Wine Estate
- “It’s a great honour to win especially as nowadays people are focusing on the quality not just the numbers, so it does mean a huge amount getting recognition from an institution as well sought after as the IWSC.”Chris BlandyOwner, Blandy's Wines
- “This will be a recognition that will help in building the brand further, and building its prestige around the world.”Victor FuentesDirector General, El Coto de Rioja S.A
- “The IWSC is a well renowned, well looked up to standard and a symbol of premium products so it’s a great achievement to win any award.”Andrea FreeboroughCellar Master, Nederburg Wines