Xanet Scheepers

By Xanet Scheepers

Digital Lifestyle Editor

PICS: South Africa’s top wines honoured at the Veritas awards

The 32nd Veritas Awards attracted 1 312 entries this year, which were judged by an authoritative jury of 70 local specialists.

Brazilian lyricist and novelist Paulo Coelho once said that “all wines should be tasted; some should only be sipped, but with others – drink the whole bottle”.

This quote couldn’t be more applicable to the past weekend’s Veritas wine awards which took place on one of the oldest wine estates in South Africa.

Picture: Veritas Awards

South African winemakers and their guests flocked to Nederburg Wine Estate, set against the majestic Drakenstein Mountains in Paarl on Saturday, 8 October, to enjoy and honour some of the best wines produced in South Africa.

The awards kicked off with a casual breakfast on the sprawling lawns of Nederburg with guests sipping on MCC and nibbling on delicious savoury and sweet treats from the breakfast buffet table.

Pictures: Veritas Awards

The 32nd Veritas Awards attracted 1 312 entries this year, which were judged by an authoritative jury of 70 local specialists during a five-day blind tasting session. The panels consisted of three members each, as already in the past two years.

Sauvignon Blanc came out tops at this year’s awards, having received 12 Double Gold medals, followed by Red Blend wines with 9 Double Gold Medals, and Chenin Blanc and Cap Classique with 8 Double Gold medals each.

The big highlight of the event, however, was the handing over of the Duimpie Bayly Veritas Vertex Award (named after this legendary industry player) for the overall champion wine from the 1 312 entries.

The 2019 Tokara Reserve Collection Cabernet Sauvignon walked away with the prestigious honour this year. Cellar master Stuart Botha and his team were in attendance to accept the handmade glass trophy.

This is the third time a red wine has won this top award since its inception.

Picture: Veritas Awards

Other stars at the Veritas awards were Distell, with seven Double Gold wines including Nederburg’s five Double Gold medals as best cellar, followed by KWV, Spier, Kleine Zalze and Wellington Wines, close on their heels with four Double Golds each.

Distell also reaped top achievements in the brandy category, with five Double Gold medals including Van Ryn’s three Double Gold.

Three wineries also performed superbly with three Double Golds each, namely Benguela Cove, Cilmor and De Grendel, while eleven cellars received two Double Golds each.

World class wines is not all there was to celebrate. The Veritas tradition of honouring industry leaders was continued once again this year.

Seven leading figures received the 2022 Living Roll of Honor for their dedication to, drive and passion for the local wine and brandy industries. They are Peet Engelbrecht, Michael Fridjhon, Angela Lloyd, Beyers Truter, Johann Krige, Ola Olivier and Johannes van Willing.

Picture: Veritas Awards

One of the three new financial partners of the Veritas wine awards, Louis Mclaren, owner and executive producer of Ontbytsake said they joined as a financial partner to give their viewers the opportunity to get to know select wines but to also recognise the winemakers for their extraordinary abilities.

Barry Venter from HUB Nashua, another financial partner, said they are proud to partner with Veritas and look forward to paving the way for energy solutions for sustainable wine farming.

The Veritas Awards received a further boost with the announcement of three new financial partners for the awards event. They are the Ontbytsake TV program on KykNet channel 144 as media partner, as well as Nashua and BlueNova.

ALSO SEE: A South African wine brandy named best in the world

There’s an app for that

Wine lovers can order their favourite winning wines through the Veritas App.

“We launched this in 2020 to enable consumers to order the award-winning products directly online for delivery to their doorstep through our partner, GetWine,” said Veritas Vice Chairman Bennie Howard.

Simply download the App on your smartphone to see the winning results and order any of the 239 products that have won Double Gold or Gold at the 2022 Veritas Awards.

Picture: Veritas Awards

The top wine performers were:

  • Durbanville Hills Collectors Reserve The Cape Mist Sauvignon Blanc 2021

  • Durbanville Hills Signature Sauvignon Blanc (Woolworths) 2021

  • Nederburg Philippus Wolvaart The Anchorman Chenin Blanc 2014

  • Nederburg Private Bin Edelkeur Chenin Blanc NLH 2013

  • Nederburg Private Bin Edelkeur Chenin Blanc NLH 2011

  • Nederburg The Winemasters NLH 2018

  • Nederburg Two Centuries Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

  • KWV The Mentors Cabernet Franc 2012

  • KWV The Mentors Cabernet Franc Stellenbosch 2019

  • KWV The Mentors Grenache Blanc 2011

  • Laborie Blanc de Blancs Brut Cap Classique 2016

  • Spier 21 Gables Chenin Blanc 2020

  • Spier 21 Gables Chenin Blanc 2014

  • Spier 21 Gables Sauvignon Blanc 2021

  • Spier Seaward Chardonnay 2021

  • Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Old Bushvine Chenin Blanc 2015

  • Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Sauvignon Blanc Sur Lie 2020

  • Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Shiraz 2012

  • Kleine Zalze Vineyard Selection Grenache 2021

  • La Cave Cape Blend 2019

  • La Cave Pinotage 2020

  • La Cave Winemakers Selection Cape Blend 2017

  • Wellington Wines Duke Chenin Blanc 2022

ALSO SEE: Top 10 wine restaurants in Johannesburg 

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