South African wines have outstanding year at International Wine Challenge, receiving 314 medals
Vintage year of success for South African wines at 32nd International Wine Challenge
- 314 IWC medals awarded to South African wines
- South Africa doubles its Gold medal haul, picking up 28 wines compared with 14 in 2014
- Whites rule the 28 Gold medals, and all but one of the reds are Shiraz-based
- Entries from Saronsberg Cellar in Tulbagh Valley all win Golds – three of them
Crackers from the Cape had an outstanding year at the 2015 International Wine Challenge, which announces its results today. South African wines scooped a total of 314 medals. The Cape winemakers also managed to double their Gold medal score, picking up 28 Golden gongs this year compared with 14 last year. 111 South African wines secured Silver medals, and 175 picked up very respectable Bronzes.
- South African white wines led the charge with 15 dry white wines being awarded Gold, as well as three sweet wines and a sparkling Chardonnay/Pinot Noir blend. There were nine Gold medals for red wines, with eight Shiraz-based reds and one Pinot Noir being awarded the top honours.
- Winemakers in the Stellenbosch district topped the medal chart, scooping eight Golds, more than any other district, as well as 27 Silver and 34 Bronze medals, bringing its total count to 69. Three Chardonnays and three Chenin Blancs produced in Stellenbosch picked up Gold, including the Marks & Spencer Land of Hope Reserve Chenin Blanc 2013 produced by Buckingham Schenk. Mon Vieux ‘Hell’s Heights’ Sauvignon Blanc 2014, made by Boutinot South Africa, was the only Stellenbosch Sauvignon to strike Gold. Oldenburg Vineyards Syrah 2013 was the only Gold medal winning red in the region.
- The Western Cape picked up a total of 86 medals, consisting of 2 Golds, 18 Silvers and 66 Bronzes. Flagstone Dark Horse Shiraz 2012 from Accolade Wines wowed the judges to scoop a Gold, and Distell also picked up Gold for its sweet Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Noble Late Harvest 2013, a botrytised blend of Chenin Blanc and Muscat Grapes.
- Elgin, in the Overberg district, took third spot, after its winemakers produced 17 medal winners, including four Golds, seven Silvers and six Bronzes. Two Chardonnays won Gold medals, the Thelema Mountain Vineyards Sutherland Chardonnay 2012 and the KWV The Mentors Chardonnay 2013. Paul Cluver struck Gold with his Riesling, the Marks & Spencer Noble Late Harvest 2013.
- Both large and small wineries have had their chance to shine in this year’s International Wine Challenge. KWV, which historically dominated the South African wine industry, took home an impressive haul of three Gold medals, five Silvers and three Bronzes. Accolade Wines, the largest supplier of New World wines to the UK market, secured three Golds and seven Bronzes. Nederburg, another giant of the South African industry, scooped three Silvers and seven Bronzes.
- However, it was not just the big boys who excelled in the competition. Small, independent wineries also snatched glory. Saronsberg, from the Tulbagh Valley, received Gold medals for all three of its wines entered, an extraordinary achievement. The Saronsberg Shiraz 2012, Saronsberg Shiraz 2013 and the Saronsberg Full Circle 2013 all scooped top prize.
- British shoppers looking for a taste of medal winning South African wine need to look no further than their local supermarkets, with Marks & Spencer leading the charge. Two of the supermarket’s own-brand wines won a Gold medal, namely the Marks & Spencer Late Harvest Riesling 2013 and the Marks & Spencer Land of Hope Reserve Chenin Blanc 2013. M&S also secured three Silvers for its Marks & Spencer Graham Beck The Rhona Sparkling 2009, Marks & Spencer Cornelia White 2014 and Marks & Spencer Paul Cluver Ferricrete Riesling 2014. M&S also secured seven Bronze medals for wines created exclusively for its range.
- Tesco’s own-brand wines picked up a couple of Bronzes and a Silver medal for Swartland district wines. The Tesco finest* Swartland Shiraz 2014 won the Silver medal, and the Tesco finest* Pinotage 2013 Tesco finest* Swartland Chenin Blanc 2014 and Tesco finest* Swartland Malbec 2014 both received Bronze medals. Three South African Bronze medals were also won by wines from the Sainsbury’s range; its House Chenin Blanc NV, Winemakers’ Selection by Sainsbury’s South African Chenin Blanc Chardonnay 2014 and their Winemakers’ Selection by Sainsbury’s South African Dry White 2014.
Charles Metcalfe, Co-Chairman of the IWC, commented:
“South Africa had a phenomenal result at this year’s competition, doubling their Gold medal count on last year. White wines had an outstanding year, with tremendous success for wines made from Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and Riesling grapes. Top performer for the reds is definitely Shiraz at the moment, although there are some promising Pinot Noirs coming from the coolest climates down near the south coast. Swartland is definitely an up-and-coming area to watch.”
Visit the IWC website for the full list of winners: http://www.internationalwinechallenge.com