25 July 2018

A total of 1 680 prospective stars of the 2018 vintage are competing for gold medals and trophies at the SA Young Wine Show judging at the Nederburg Auction Complex in Paarl this week (23 – 27 July).

The SA Young Wine Show is one of the oldest wine competitions in the world, dating back to 1833 and now in its 186th 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. Altogether 16 panels with more than 130 judges will be looking for the best young wines of 2018.

For the second year in a row, the Shiraz class attracted the most entries (152) this year, followed by Chenin Blanc (149), Any Red Cultivar Blend (143), Cabernet Sauvignon (129) and Sauvignon Blanc (126).

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 2018 vintage has been described as one of the most challenging for wine makers and viticulturists in more than 30 years, due to the severe drought in the winegrowing areas of South Africa. The chairman of the Young Wine Show, Christo Pienaar, said there was great expectation and excitement in the industry to see what the results would be from a difficult vintage that also showed the promise of very good quality wines.

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 2018 SA Young Wine Awards Gala Dinner presented by Agri-Expo in the historical Stellenbosch City Hall on Saturday 25 August.

For more information, contact the SA Young Wine office at tel 021 863 1599 or e-mail Follow SA Young Wine Awards on Facebook (, Twitter ( and Google+ SA Young Wine for the latest news. Join the conversation using #sayoungwine. 


Issued by SA Young Wine Show

Tel: 021 863 1599

Contact: Bennie Howard or Elsabé Ferreira

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