Judging – Behind the scenesJuly 15, 2009
Veritas Awards – The facts behind the figuresAugust 15, 2009
This august competition acknowledges excellence in the local wine industry and presents wine lovers with a not to be missed opportunity to sample the cream of the crop. This year four highly experienced overseas wine judges joined the Veritas panel in the rigorous process to identify these winning wines.
From the 31 August to 4 September an astounding 1 728 wines were put through their paces at the Nederburg Auction Complex in Paarl. The logistics and co-ordination required for such a mammoth undertaking are quite mind-boggling! However, once again the entire Veritas team outdid themselves, ensuring a successful, seamless operation of the highest standards. The international adjudicators were joined by an authoritative line-up of local wine experts, including prominent winemakers, members of the media, academics, researchers and consultants.
According to Duimpie Bayly, chairman of the SA National Wine Show Association the entire judging process is monitored by independent auditors, thus guaranteeing the integrity and consistency of the results. This year’s international judging component strengthens this process and lends a very important global perspective to the competition.
From Down Under Ian McKenzie once again joins the Veritas panel. “Macka” as he’s affectionately known to his colleagues is best known for his role in the development of Seppelt Salinger (one of Australia’s most highly regarded sparkling wines) and Penfolds Yattarna (Australia’s most popular Chardonnay). Regarded as the country’s most senior wine judge McKenzie possesses an enviable knowledge of both wine and brandy production. After serving on the QANTAS Airways’ wine selection panel, McKenzie is currently a Director of The Wine Society and consultant to various winemakers in Australia, Chile and South Africa.
Also lending her specialist field of know-how to the competition is Lynne Sheriff, a South African wine consultant based in Britain. Sheriff has been a regular contributor to the Veritas panel and brings with her 30 years of wine industry experience. After attaining her Cape Wine Master qualification in 1988 she earned the title of Master of Wine in 1993. Her stints at Stellenbosch Farmers Winery and Nederburg stood Sheriff in good stead for her position as head of the Hong Kong International Wine and Spirits Academy and Commercial Director of Vinfruco, a leading SA wine exporter.
With his acute perceptions of European consumer trends, Thomas Lüber (Germany) contributes valuable insights into the current worldwide wine market. Lüber has occupied the position of lead buyer of South African wines for WIV Wein International AG since 1995. WIV Wein International AG has its head office in Germany and is the world’s largest direct wine sales company. It has its own vineyards and wineries in Germany, France, Hungary, Australia and South Africa and employs more than 6 000 people in 20 countries world wide. Lüber is also a board member of Cape Wine Shippers, a joint venture between Boland Winery and WIV AG.
It was Sweden’s Anders Barrén’s first time to South Africa and on the Veritas panel, an opportunity he says he relished. Barrén is the wine purchaser for all South African wines for Systembolaget, the Swedish alcohol retail monopoly. Having sold 26 million litres of wine last year alone, South Africa has pride of place as the largest category of wine on Systembolaget which serves a market of 9 million Swedes and operates 412 stores. Apart from South Africa, Barrén is also responsible for sourcing wines from North Africa, Greece, Cyprus, Turkey and the Far East.