Veritas achievers announcedOctober 4, 2014
Young wine writer voice a new wine directionDecember 4, 2014
Four luminaries were nominated to receive the 2014 Living Legends scroll of honour at the 24th Veritas Awards ceremony for their dedication to and their effort and passion for the local wine and brandy industries.
Danie de Wet, Diaan de Villiers, Prof Diko van Zyl and Jeff Wedgwood, four faces who need no introduction to the wine industry, were recognised for growing and promoting the industry through their invaluable contributions towards the industry throughout their working careers.
According to SANWSA chairman, Charles Hopkins, this is about giving back to those who served the industry throughout the years. “We would like to thank these living legends for their commitment. They have made their mark in our industry without a doubt.”
Danie de Wet is recognised as the pioneer of white wine cultivars in South Africa, in particular Chardonnay, and for his role in ensuring the industry’s international competitiveness in the fields of vineyard practices, excellence in winemaking technology and promoting new grape cultivars. Besides building De Wetshof into one of South Africa’s premier wine estates, Danie has been involved with various industry bodies aimed at spearheading winemaking excellence. The positions he has held include membership of the SA Wine and Spirits Board, director of Winetech and the first chairman of VinPro. Danie was chairman of the National Wine Show Association and Veritas from 1995 to 2004. Danie also served as chairman of the KWV Group Limited from 2004-2009. De Wetshof’s ties to the French wine industry has led to Danie having been inducted into the Commanderie du Bontemps de Médoc, Graves, Barsac et Sauternes in Bordeaux, as well as the Chevaliers du Tastevin in Burgundy.
Diaan de Villiers had a flourishing career in the industry with a 37 year stint at SFW/Distell where he sourced wine as wine buyer for the company throughout the South African wine lands. Diaan was also involved with various industry bodies, he served on the Wine and Spirits Board’s judging committee, and still judge on the SA National Young Wine Show and the Veritas judging panels. He also served on the board of the SA Society for Enology and Viticuture and was President of the organisation for two years. He also lends his expertise to SALBA as representative of the industry information committee of SAWIS.
Professor Diko van Zyl is die skrywer van verskeie wetenskaplike historiese werke oor die geskiedenis van die wynbedryf, ander landbouvertakkings en die algemene ekonomiese geskiedenis van die Wes-Kaap. As dosent, professor in Suid-Afrikaanse geskiedenis aan die Universiteit van Stellenbosch, en na sy vroeë aftrede in Junie 1996 vir ’n paar jaar lank buitengewone professor, tot hede het hy oor die afgelope byna vyf dekades ‘n belangrike bydrae tot die ekonomiese geskiedenis van die Wes-Kaap gelewer as outeur van belangrike publikasies, manuskripte en navorsingsprojekte, veral oor die wynbedryf. Hy het eiehandig die meeste van die historiese wynboeke in Suid-Afrika geskryf. Hy is ook ‘n navorsingskonsultant vir verskeie organisasies en besighede, insluitend die Departement van Grondsake en regsfirmas.
Jeff Wedgwood started his illustrious career 55 years in the wine business at the then SFW in 1959, now Distell, where he was chief wine buyer for many years. He also managed his own wine consultancy company for 20 years and served on many industry bodies including being chairman of the Stellenbosch Bottled Wine Show, vice-chairman of the Stellenbosch Food & Wine Festival and member of the SA Wine & Spirits Board tasting panel, as well as a member of the task team responsible for implementing the Wine of Origin Scheme in 1973. Jeff judged on the SA Young Wine Show from 1960 until the late 1990’s as well as on the Veritas panels for a number of years. He also consulted for Afdis in Zimbabwe for five years.
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