The tradition of annually honouring a handful of industry leaders took place at this year’s 28th Veritas Awards ceremony on Saturday 6 October. This award serves as recognition for exemplary service to the industry over the years – acknowledging their commitment and paying homage for remarkable achievements.
Thereby five luminaries received the 2018 Living Legends Scroll of Honour for their dedication to and enthusiasm and passion for the local wine and brandy industries.
Albert Eksteen graduated with an LLB degree from the University of Stellenbosch and joined KWV Legal Administration in 1985, becoming the Company Secretary 12 years later. During his career of 31 years he represented KWV and the wine producers in general in various negotiations and discussions with government and the industry. When KWV embarked on an unbundling exercise, he was responsible for the extensive redrafting of memorandum and articles for this major change at the organisation. He was also extensively involved in the drafting and registration of Groot Constantia Estate’s memorandum in terms of which ownership passed from the State to a new Section 21 company.
Pierre Marais studied at the University of Stellenbosch, acquiring his doctorate in Agriculture (Plant Pathology) in 1983. He joined the Institute of Viticulture and Oenology, Nietvoorbij, and did research in Plant Pathology, serving in several posts at the Institute over a period of 20 years. During his research years, he published 26 scientific and numerous popular articles, also delivering 20 scientific papers, locally and international. He joined Distillers Corporation in 1989 and served, among others, as Cellarmaster at the Bergkelder and Technical Manager: Wine at Distell until his retirement. He served on various committees of the Wine and Spirit Board for more than 30 years and he was also President of the South African Society for Enology and Viticulture (SASEV).
Melvyn Minnaar is a veteran journalist and has been a wine, food, art and travel writer for more than 40 years, having written for most of the domestic Afrikaans and English newspapers, as well as various magazines. These include WineLand, Wine Spectator, World Wine Report, (France), Wine & Spirit International and Grape. As an art curator, advisor and judge, he has been counselling numerous art festivals in South Africa over many years. He is a founding member of the Cape Town Convivium of Slow Food and a member of the International Jury for the Slow Food Award.
Christine Rudman has had a love affair with wine since joining the then Stellenbosch Farmers’ Winery (SFW) in1977, following an FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) marketing career in Johannesburg. Enrolling at the Cape Wine Academy (CWA), she achieved her Cape Wine Master qualification in 1986; left SFW to run the CWA for seven years; and has since done consultancy work, wine judging, lecturing and writing. She has been a taster for the Platter’s Wine Guide since 2003. Christine has written for various publications over the years and has published two editions of A Guide to the Winelands of the Cape, the first of its kind. She has been a panel chairperson at Veritas and the International Wine and Spirit Competition for many years, a Wine of the Month Club judge and is currently also Technical Director of the Michelangelo International Wine & Spirits Awards.
Martin van der Merwe hails from Cape Town and after graduating from Elsenburg Agricultural College, spent 19 years with Bertrams Wines and Gilbeys, concentrating on wine production and viticulture. He was a regular judge for both the SA Young Wine Show and Veritas Awards during this time. Martin started his North American Career in 1997, when being appointed as Vice-President Operations and Logistics for Vincor International in Canada, where he was responsible for Drove Customer Service levels to above 98% for Constellation Brands Canada. Before retiring in 2017, his portfolio was expanded to the USA where he managed 17 production and barrel-maturation facilities countrywide. Van der Merwe is actually the first recipient of the Legends Award who excelled both on the domestic front and abroad.
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Contact Bennie Howard
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