Foremost International Wine Experts Will Have Their Say at VeritasAugust 20, 2008
International wine experts impressed by high standard of entries at 2008 Veritas AwardsSeptember 15, 2008
This year, a remarkable 1 753 wines have been entered to be evaluated by the 105 distinguished judges who come from diverse, albeit wine-related backgrounds, including wine makers, wine journalists and consultants to the industry from as far afield as Canada, Sweden, Germany, the UK, Australia and the Netherlands.
From 8 to 12 September fifteen panels of knowledgeable judges will taste the entries at the Nederburg Auction Complex in Paarl and then share their professional opinions before reaching a consensus to determine the award winning wines. For the seventh year running Shiraz has the most entries with 220 wines, while Sauvignon Blanc follows with 192 entries and Cabernet Sauvignon with 187.
The presence of six top international wine experts will again augment the credibility of the results. These prominent international judges come from countries where South African wines are sold and have to be acknowledged tasters in their respective countries. Dave Hughes, one of South Africa’s most prominent wine experts and a renowned international judge himself, played a vital role in the compilation of the panels.
The international delegation include Dr Isabelle Lesschaeve (Canada), a professional member of the American Society of Oenology and Viticulture specialising in the sensory evaluation of wine and the development of new sensory methodologies to predict wine preferences; Ian McKenzie (Australia) who is most famous for his role in the development of Seppelt Salinger (one of Australia’s most highly regarded sparkling wines) and Penfolds Yattarna (Australia’s most sought after chardonnay), and Sebastian Braun, who is responsible for the selection of South African wines for the Swedish market as wine purchaser for the Alcohol Retail Monopoly, Systembolaget.
Joining them is Dr Rowald Hepp (Germany) who is wine director of the Schloss Vollrads Wine Estate in Rheingau, Germany, famous for its award winning Riesling; Janna Rijpma Meppelink, celebrated wine entertainer and writer from the Netherlands, and respected and much quoted UK free lance wine writer Sarah A McCleery.
The Veritas Awards, presented by the South African National Wine Show Association (SANW), is looked upon as the country’s most authoritative wine competition and consequently the Veritas emblem, which graces the winning wines after the announcement, has become significant for wine makers, wine connoisseurs and wine lovers as a supreme mark of quality.
The competition has done much over the years to promote and enrich the reputation of South Africa as one of the finest wine growing regions in the world by demonstrating, through this judging, the ability of South African wine makers and wineries to produce outstanding wines. The judging system determines that a wine which scores more than 17 out of 20 will get a double gold. For a gold medal a wine has to accumulate 17 points; silver goes to those with 16 points and bronze to wines that score 15 points.
According to SA National Wine Show Association chairman Duimpie Bayly the main prerequisite for being chosen as a judge is a wine judging certificate from the University of Stellenbosch, a Cape Wine Academy Cape Wine Master’s Diploma or similar accreditation.
The 2008 Veritas double gold and gold winners will be announced at a gala dinner sponsored by Agri-Expo, on Saturday October 11 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC). Contact Elsabé Ferreira at SANW, tel (021) 807 3104, e-mail email@example.com or visit www.veritas.co.za for further information.