VERITAS AWARDS: TASTING THE BEST COUNTRYWIDEOctober 4, 2023
Veritas Living Legends Awards 2023October 20, 2023
Exciting highlights were reached at the stylish 33rd Veritas Awards, featuring another record number of medals to both well-known brands and novices, while the Duimpie Bayly Vertex Trophy for the best wine entered was clinched by the 2019 Benguela Cove Joie de Vivre Cap Classique.
This glamorous dinner known as the “Oscars” of the wine industry returned to the Ballroom at the CTICC as guests enjoyed an unforgettable evening of splendid food, award-winning wines and entertainment. The established sponsors of Veritas, SA Litho and Deloitte, were again joined by KykNet’s Ontbytsake, Nashua and BlueNova, with newcomers Dry Ice International and Porex. Six living wine legends received scrolls of honour for excellent service to the industry.
KWV shared the spotlight at the Veritas function with six Double Gold wines and thereby being named as Best Producer. Following close on their heels, were Heineken Beverages and Wellington Wines with their top achievements of four Double Gold each. Heineken Beverages took the laurels in the brandy category, with four Double Gold medals including Van Ryn’s two Double Gold.
Four wineries also excelled with three Double Gold each, namely Alvi’s Drift Private Cellar, Benguela Cove, Diemersdal and Spier, while six cellars each received two Double Gold.
The results were received to resounding applause at the gala dinner, where 81 Double Gold and 179 Gold awards in total were handed out.
The big highlight of the event, like in the past six years, was the presentation of the Duimpie Bayly Veritas Vertex Award – named after this legendary industry role player – for the overall champion wine from 1 247 entries.
The handcrafted glass trophy went to Benguela Cove cellarmaster Johann Fourie and his team for their 2019 Benguela Cove Joie de Vivre Cap Classique. It was the second time that a Cap Classique wine garnered this top award since its inception.
KWV came out tops with the most Double Gold medals for six of its wine entries. They were the Laborie Blanc de Blancs Cap Classique 2017, KWV Cathedral Cellar Sauvignon Blanc 2021, KWV The Mentors Chenin Blanc 2015, KWV The Mentors Perold 2020, KWV Roodeberg Dr Charles Niehaus 2019 and KWV Roodeberg Reserve 2020. KWV further also excelled with nine Gold.
This year’s 1 247 entries were judged by an authoritative jury of 70 international and local specialists during a five-day blind tasting session. The judging panels comprised five members each. The international judges were Christine Austin (UK), Jonas Röjerman MW (Sweden), Joe Wadsack (UK) and Jo Wessels (Germany).
See the medals breakdown of the top wines and brandies below.
Financial boost for international judges and Vertex Award
The Veritas Awards saw continued support by financial partners as Dry Ice International joined as new partner to sponsor the international judge’ participation. Porex announced at the Awards function that it would in future sponsor the tasting of the Double Gold wines hosted by senior international judge Joe Wadsack in London as well as flying the winner of the Duimpie Bayly Vertex award to the UK.
The sponsors of the awards function also continued their participation. They are the Ontbytsake TV programme on KykNet as media partner, as well as Nashua and BlueNova.
Christo Pienaar, chairperson of the SA National Wine Show Association (SANWSA) and Veritas, said the organisation was elated about the support. “We are very grateful to our Veritas partners and appreciate their enthusiasm in joining these Awards.”
Our financial partners:
- Lionel Dickens – CEO Porex:
Being part of Veritas as a sponsor is a great honour for us at Porex SA. Adding to the value of sponsoring the top wine in the country each year and then showing it to the international market are critical exercises. This is our small part of giving back to the wine industry. Thanks a lot to all wineries that supported Porex SA over the last years. We are looking forward to join the winners for the tasting in the UK and showing the best wine for 2023 to the international media and trade.
- Deon Roux – CEO Dry Ice International:
Having expanded our presence in the Western Cape, especially to the benefit of the wine farmers, we at Dry Ice International are confident that it can make a significant contribution to the success of our local wine industry. We are proud to be partnering with Veritas 2023, celebrating our wine industry excellence.
- Louis Mclaren – owner and executive producer Ontbytsake:
Ontbytsake’s goal is to promote businesses across all industries in South Africa, including the wine industry. Veritas showcases the best of the best. These winemakers, distillers, researchers, academics and merchants are our people, our pride!
- Barry Venter – CEO Nashua:
At Nashua our 50 years of operating in Southern Africa has given us the experience to know that technology is an enabler of human potential. With our total workspace solutions, we have all your business needs covered. Whether you need to secure your assets or need assistance with scaling your business for the future, we remain committed as ever to saving you time, saving you money, putting you first. We are proud to partner with Veritas again and look forward to paving the way with solutions for sustainable wine farming.
- James Verwey – CEO BlueNova:
BlueNova is privileged to be one of South Africa’s exceptional traditions, celebrated by the winemakers in our country. Like true South African winemakers, BlueNova is a genuine South African technology company in the energy sector. Together we celebrate this exceptional characteristic.
Remarkable success with app for online wine sales
Wine lovers can continue to make use of the Veritas App to conveniently purchase the awarded wines. Veritas Vice-chairman Bennie Howard said he has been most delighted with the phenomenal success of the Vino Veritas App by CTP. “We launched this in 2020 to enable consumers to order the awarded wines directly online for delivery to their doorstep by our partner, GetWine. Wine lovers have been most pleased with this service, the ideal App to use at the public tastings to order while you taste.”
This means that the wine and brandy buying public can download the App on their smartphones or computers to immediately access the results and order any of the 260 products which won Double Gold or Gold. Register on Android or Google with the words “VinoVeritas by CTP”.
Public wine tastings countrywide
Good news for consumers is that the regular wine tastings for the public presented under the Deloitte banner will again be held in the major centres. Ruwayda Redfearn, Deloitte Africa’s CEO, said,” We look forward to share the top Veritas wines with our clients, the trade and consumers at these tastings.”
The public tastings will be held on 27 October in Cape Town, 1 November in Johannesburg and 9 November in Durban – all at the Deloitte premises in each city. See further information at www.veritas.co.za
Six living legends honoured
The Veritas tradition to honour industry leaders since 2009, is being continued this year. Thereby, six leading personalities received the 2023 Living Legend Scroll of Honour for their dedication to and enthusiasm and passion for the domestic wine and brandy industries. They are Gary Baumgarten, Gert Boerssen, Johan Ehlers, Chris Roux, Jacques Roux and Johan Wiese.
Medals strictly monitored
Consumers can acquire the medal-winning wines with confidence, since all the entries are monitored by SA Wine Industry Information and Systems (Sawis) to comply with the competition’s stringent regulations. This includes verification of the appropriate documents, as well as information on their bottling and labelling as Wine of Origin.
THE TOP ACHIEVERS WERE:
KWV – Six Double Gold (also nine Gold):
Laborie Blanc de Blancs Cap Classique 2017
KWV Cathedral Cellar Sauvignon Blanc 2021
KWV The Mentors Chenin Blanc 2015
KWV Roodeberg Dr Charles Niehaus 2019
KWV Roodeberg Reserve 2020
KWV The Mentors Perold 2020
Heineken – Four Double Gold (five Gold):
Nederburg Private Bin Edelkeur NLH 2013
Nederburg The Winemasters Shiraz 2021
Zonnebloem Limited Edition Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
Zonnebloem Shiraz/Mourvèdre/Viognier 2021
Wellington Wines – four Double Gold (also one Gold):
La Cave Chenin Blanc 2021
La Cave Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
La Cave Cape Blend 2021
La Cave Pinotage 2021
Spier – three Double Gold (five Gold):
Spier 21 Gables Chenin Blanc 2021
Spier Seaward Chenin Blanc 2022
Spier Creative Block 5 2020
Alvi’s Drift Private Cellar – three Double Gold (four Gold):
Alvi’s Drift Brut Chardonnay/Pinot Noir Cap Classique NV
Alvi’s Drift Muscat Blanc Nectarinia 2017
Alvi’s Drift Signature Chenin Blanc 2023
Benguela Cove – three Double Gold (two Gold):
Benguela Cove Joie de Vivre Brut Cap Classique 2019
Benguela Cove Vinography Cabernet Sauvignon 2020
Benguela Cove Vinography Sauvignon Blanc 2022
Diemersdal Estate – three Double Gold (two Gold):
Diemersdal Syrah 2022
Diemersdal The Journal Pinotage 2021
Diemersdal The Journal Pinotage 2020
Six wineries each received two Double Gold: Bon Courage Cellar, De Grendel Wines, DTK Wines, Stellenbosch Vineyards, Tokara Wines and Welgevallen Cellar.
In the class for Certified Heritage Vineyard Wines, two cellars excelled by each winning a Double Gold medal in the division for vineyards older than 35 years. They are the 2022 Rickety Bridge Paulina’s Reserve Old Vine Cinsault and the 2021 Stellenbosch 1679 Single Vineyard Old Vine Pinotage.
Heineken excelled in the brandy category with four Double Gold and one Gold. KWV was in second place with three Double Gold and four Gold.
Heineken’s Double Gold were:
Richelieu International Premium Brandy
Richelieu 10 Year Vintage Old Brandy
Van Ryn’s 15 Year Old Single Potstill Brandy
Van Ryn’s 20 Year Old Single Potstill Brandy
KWV VS Brandy
KWV 12 Year Old Potstill Brandy
KWV 15 Year Old Alambic Blend Potstill Brandy
Five cellars each clinched one Double Gold: Badsberg Red Muscadel 2004, BC Wines 2021 Rooi Muskadel, Boplaas 2020 Cape Vintage Reserve, KWV NV Classic Collection Cape Tawny and Perdeberg 2021 The Dry Land Collection Fortitude Fortified Chenin Blanc
BEST ACHIEVER CLASSES
The Best Achiever in the class for ten wines or fewer was Benguela Cove, while KWV was the Best Achiever for 11 or more wines entered. Fortified Wines, Museum and Brandy Class medals are excluded from this calculation.
The Veritas Awards this year had 1 247 medal contenders. Altogether 1 166 medals were awarded – 81 Double Gold, 179 Gold, 263 Silver Outstanding, 426 Silver and 217 Bronze.
The seven most keenly contested categories in terms of entries received were: Red Blends (170), Sauvignon Blanc (141), Cabernet Sauvignon (109), Chardonnay (105), Shiraz (102), Chenin Blanc (97) and Pinotage (83).
Top scorers in the Double Gold medal stakes for Wine were Sauvignon Blanc (12), Chenin Blanc (10), Red Blends (9), Cabernet Sauvignon, Cap Classique, Chardonnay, Pinotage(5), Shiraz (4), Heritage Vintage Wines and Museum White Wine with 2 medals each.
A Double Gold medal each was awarded to Cabernet Franc, Cinsaut, Malbec, Merlot, Museum NLH, Museum Red Wine, Natural Sweet Wine, Pinot Noir, Rosé and Straw Wine.
Double golds for Fortified Wines were awarded to Cape Style (2), with 1 medal each to Dessert Wine, Museum Dessert Red and Red Muscadel.
Potstill Brandy excelled with 5 Double Gold awards, Vintage Brandy and Standard Brandy 1 each.
In the Gold medal stakes, Red Blends (25) was tops, followed by Sauvignon Blanc (16), Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc (13), Cabernet Sauvignon (12), Potstill Brandy and White Blends (10), Cap Classique, Pinotage and Shiraz (7), Heritage Vintage Wines (6), Museum Red Wine (5), Cape Style, Malbec, Museum Cap Classique and White Muscadel (3) Two medals each was awarded to Cabernet Franc, Cap Classique Rosé, Grenache, Merlot, Museum Dessert White Wine, Museum White Wine, Other White Cultivar, Petit Verdot, Red Muscadel, Rosé, Standard Brandy and Viognier. One medal each was awarded to Cinsaut, Dessert Wine, Museum Cape Style, Museum Dessert Red Wine, Museum NLH, Natural Sweet Wine, NLH, Other Red Cultivars, Pinot Noir, Sémillon, Straw Wine and Weisser Riesling
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