Gauteng’s got wine tasting talents!

Friday, 15 July, 2016
The South African Wine Tasting Championship 2016 awarded the best Gauteng wine tasters in Sandton on the 13th of July 2016, forming part of the Juliet Cullinan Standard Bank Wine Festival held at Summer Place.

The purpose of the Championship is to offer all wine lovers the chance to put their taste to the test, the Top 5 tasters come from various backgrounds, some are working in the wine industry, others winners are just being true passionate amateurs.  Close to eighty competitors registered on the day.

Gauteng wine lovers participated in a tasting challenge to recognise 6 wines served blind from unmarked decanters. It goes without saying that it was a difficult task: finding out which wine was what requires a sharp nose, a precise palate and an incredible memory. The wineries supporting the SAWTC Gauteng 2016 are Constantia Uitsig, Haute Cabriere, Journey’s End, Marianne Estate, Zevenwacht, Hidden Valley, The Drift and De Wetshof.

The top 5 Gauteng tasters for 2016 are:

Dean EHRLICH – Winner in Gauteng for 2016 with 84%, he was in the top 10 in 2015
Lerato MOLELEKI - 2nd in Gauteng for 2016 with 74%
Savvas THEMISTOCLEOUS – 3rd in Gauteng for 2016 with 67%
Julia WILLIAMS – 4th in Gauteng for 2016 with 66%
Kiran LALLOO – 5th in Gauteng for 2016 with 65%

The overall Gauteng winner, Dean Ehrlich automatically qualifies for the national finals in Cape Town and will try to win his seat in Team South Africa. Dean is an attorney by trade, but a wine lover by passion, showing that an amateur can compete with the most trained wine professionals. Lerato MOLELEKI who works for Avondale wine farm qualifies as well for the national finals. The remaining 3 Gauteng champions will have to wait for the scores from the other provincial championship taking place in the Cape on the 6th of August 2016 to see if they have a place in the finale when Team South Africa will be selected through a blind tasting of international wines.

As the manager of the SAWTC, and coach of Team South Africa, Jean-Vincent RIDON wants to thank Juliet Cullinan for supporting the Gauteng Provincial Championship as part of her wine festival, and the team of WINE.CO.ZA as the media partner for the SAWTC and Team South Africa.

Next leg will be the Cape Provincial Championship, taking place on the 6th of August 2016 at the TAJ Hotel Cape Town. Tickets are available on

Dean Ehrlich and JV
Dean Ehrlich and JV

Juliet Cullinan and JV
Juliet Cullinan and JV

L to R Lerato Julias, Juliet Cullinan, Savvas Dean, JV
L to R Lerato Julias, Juliet Cullinan, Savvas Dean, JV

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