June 15, 2016
October 3, 2016


Some of the world’s finest palates are gathered at the Nederburg Auction Complex in Paarl this week to judge the 1 670 contenders for Veritas fame.

Joe Wadsack (UK), Thomas Lüber (Germany), Janåke Johannson (Sweden), Guido Francque (Belgium) and Denis Lahouratate (France) will join forces with over 100 local wine experts to scrutinize contestants during a marathon four-day blind tasting.

The five most hotly-contested categories in terms of entries received, are: Red Blends (227), Sauvignon Blanc (182), Shiraz (167), Cabernet Sauvignon (142) and Chenin Blanc (131). 

Meet the experts

UK-based Joe Wadsack currently co-hosts the British TV series BBC Food & Drink. Renowned for his brilliant palate, Joe studied wine in Bordeaux before working as a wine buyer at Waitrose and is now a consultant and speaker. In 2005, Joe was awarded with the title of International Wines and Spirit Competition Communicator of the Year, and then won the award for a second time this year for 2016, making Joe Wadsack the only person to have won this illustrious award twice. He was also awarded with the International Wine Challenge’s Personality of the Year award in 2015, the very competition that the he has given his time to for 20 years.

Thomas Lüber from Germany is no newcomer to the Cape Winelands. He is a familiar face on the Veritas jury, independent wine consultant and importer of South African wines for more than 15 years.

Co-founder of the Flemish sommelier organisation Guido Francque’s extensive food, beverage and hospitality experience includes a six year stint at the 3* Michelin Hertog Jan restaurant in Belgium. Guido, a Pinotage devotee, initiated the first Pinotage and Food symposium and authored Pinotage and Food from Five Continents for the Pinotage Association of which he is an honourable member. 

Janåke Johansson, a well-known name in wine circles around the world, is an expert taster, judge and a renowned importer of South African wines in Sweden for more than 20 years.

Cognac expert, Denis Lahouratate, Maître de Chai (Cellar Master) for the renowned Chateau Bisquit in Cognac, France, is at the helm of the brandy tasting panel. A total of 39 Standard, Potstill and Vintage brandies were entered this year.


The local team of judges consist of a variety of wine makers, researchers, academics, Cape Wine Masters, wine buyers, wine writers and consultants. A wine judging certificate from the University of Stellenbosch, the Wine Judging Academy, a Cape Wine Master Diploma or similar accreditation is essential for inclusion in the tasting panels. Panels of seven judges blind taste the entries according to areas of expertise. 

Scores are awarded according to the 20-point scale: 18 and above wins a double gold, 17 points scores gold and silver is awarded to a wine/brandy that secures 16 points.  A bronze medal goes to a wine/brandy attaining 15 points.



The medal winners will be announced on 7 October at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) at a dazzling gala event sponsored by Agri-Expo.


The competition

The Veritas Awards, now in its 26th year, is South Africa’s premier wine competition. Wine cognoscenti and consumers trust a Veritas award as an unrivalled seal of quality. 


For more information, contact the Veritas office on tel 021 863 1599, e-mail or visit

Get social

Stay connected with the Veritas Awards on social media
Google+ Veritas Awards
Join the conversation using #Veritas

Issued by Marlene Truter Communications
Contact Marlene Truter
Mobile  083 294 6060

On behalf of Veritas Awards
Contact Bennie Howard
Mobile  082 551 5545

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

For COVID-19 updates, visit the official government website