The prospective stars of the 2020 vintage are competing for trophies and gold, silver and bronze medals at the SA Young Wine Show judging at the Nederburg Auction Complex in Paarl this week (31 Aug – 4 Sept).
The SA Young Wine Show is one of the oldest wine competitions in the world, dating back to 1833 and is now in its 188th year. The wines will compete for 17 prestigious trophies in the various classes, with only one of the entries to be crowned as the overall champion young wine of the year and presented with the coveted General Smuts Trophy. At the same time, The Pietman Hugo Trophy will be awarded to the cellar with the highest total points for entries in five categories. Altogether 14 panels with more than 50 judges will be looking for the best young wines of 2020.
The classes that attracted the most entries were Shiraz, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Other Red Cultivars and Pinotage.
A total of 17 SA Champion trophies are at stake. The competing classes for white wines are Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Sémillon, Other White Cultivars, Dry White Blends, Off-dry White Wines and Noble Late Harvest. In the classes for red wines, trophies are awarded for the finest Pinotage, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Other Red Cultivars and Dry Red Blends. The Fortified wine class trophies comprise outstanding Port, Dessert Wine and Muscadel.
This mammoth judging is accompanied by good news for wine lovers, namely that South Africa’s 2020 wine grape crop will bring exceptional wines to consumers, following favourable conditions throughout the season.
“Although it’s always important to take our diversity over ten wine grape growing regions into account, the industry has had a great season overall, which we believe will produce high quality wines,” says Conrad Schutte, consultation service manager of Vinpro, the wine industry’s representative body.
The judging process this year takes place amidst the Covid 19 pandemic, but the organisers, the SA National Wine Show Association (SANWSA) has announced that they are the first organisers of wine competitions to be implementing world-leading sanitation systems to judge wines this year during these difficult times.
Thereby, the 2020 SA Young Wine Show will take wine competition sanitation standards to a new level, employing advanced ultra-violet and ozone air-and-surface sanitation techniques – in addition to applying comprehensive, specially formulated, protocols to ensure the most Covid-19 safe environment possible for the judges and personnel involved. This thanks to collaboration with Tharo Wine, a Stellenbosch-based cooperage and sanitation service specialist with its remarkable UV-related Uvozone system.
This, in addition to implementing a 65-page virus protection protocol framework fine-tuned by a health practitioner experienced in developing relevant guidelines for large-scale industrial application.
“We’ve gone to these lengths in the interest of the South African wine industry, taking the lead to implement the most advanced measures possible to create a safe and healthy environment for our judges and personnel involved,” said the organisation’s chairperson, Christo Pienaar.
Details of the awards and trophy presentation to be hosted by Agri-Expo will be announced in due course.
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Contact Bennie Howard, Vice-chairperson or Elsabé Ferreira, manager.