26 July 2017

A total of 1 783 prospective stars of the 2017 vintage are competing for gold medals and trophies at the SA Young Wine Show judging at the Nederburg Auction Complex in Paarl this week (24 – 28 July).  More than 120 experienced judges will taste on the various panels.

The SA Young Wine Show is one of the oldest wine competitions in the world, dating back to 1833 and now in its 185th year. The wines will compete for 17 magnificent 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. The Pietman Hugo Trophy is awarded to the cellar with the highest total marks for entries in five categories.

The Chenin Blanc class attracted the most entries (161) this year, followed by Shiraz (157), Any Red Cultivar Blend (149), Sauvignon Blanc (133) and Pinotage (118).

A total of 17 SA Champion trophies are at stake for 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. Fortified wine classes include trophies for outstanding Port, Dessert Wine and Muscadel.

The Board of the Young Wine Show approved a change in the judging process earlier this year when it was decided to bring the judging in line with international practice by using the 100-point scale in future. The chairman of the Young Wine Show, Christo Pienaar, said it was a major change as the 20-point scale had been used for such a long time, but that it would benefit the industry as a whole.

The Young Wine Show plays an important role in educating young wine tasters in the evaluation of wines. In addition to the seven highly qualified and experienced judges in each of the categories, an eighth trainee judge is added to each panel. The junior judges’ scores are not added to the final tally. “We are preparing a future generation of wine judges for the competition as well as the industry as a whole,” said Bennie Howard, vice-chairperson of the Show.

The winners will be announced at the 2017 SA Young Wine Awards Gala Dinner presented by the Worcester/Breedekloof Region at Goudini Spa on Friday 25 August.

For more information, contact the SA Young Wine office at tel 021 863 1599 or e-mail

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Issued by SA Young Wine Show
Tel: 021 863 1599
Contact: Bennie Howard or Elsabe Ferreira

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