You thought you knew it all, but did you know talking is not permitted when wines are judged for Veritas, the oldest, biggest and most widely known wine competition for market ready wines in South Africa. No scented toilet preparations or perfume in the judging areas either. And no one may reek of smoke!
If you were wondering about this prestigious competition, wonder no more. Duimpie Bayly, Cape Wine Master and chairman of the South African National Wine Show (SANW) gives answers to many of the questions you may have had.
1. What makes the Veritas Awards unique?
“This is the only wine competition in South Africa for the industry by the industry. The board of SANW that runs Veritas comprises of members that represents the full spectrum of the industry. There is no commercial gain for us by running this competition. We simply want to give wineries the opportunity to compare wines with others in the marketplace. This competition also creates major opportunities for publicity both for Veritas and the award winning wines and therefore attracts a lot of consumer attention.”
2. What are the criteria for a wine to enter the Veritas Wine Awards?
“Wines must be labelled and certified by the Wine and Spirits Board where wines must adhere to their minimum standards. If a wine does not meet these criteria, it can not be entered into the competition.” Overseas entries will be accepted without Wine and Spirits Board approval, however, there must be 100 x 9 litre cases available for sale to the general public.
3. Are there a maximum amount of wines one cellar may enter into the competition?
“No, there are no limits to how many wines one cellar may enter.”
4. Which system is followed during the judging process?
“Wines are tasted blind. Panels consisting of seven judges, 10 wines are judged at a time and then discussed. Scores are awarded according to the international 20-point scale, with discussion and consensus.”
5. How are medals awarded?
“A double gold medal is awarded through a consensus decision by the panel if the wine scores 17 or more out of 20. Gold is awarded when a wine notches-up 17 points, a silver sticker will go on a bottle of wine if the wine scored 16 points, while bronze medals go to wines that scored 15 points.”