Wine experts from across South Africa judge at Veritas

Wednesday, 14 October, 2020
Veritas Awards
This week sees one of the highlights of wine and brandy judging on the South African wine industry calendar when some South Africa’s most experienced palates arrive in Paarl to judge this year’s entries for the Veritas Awards.

The judging is taking place a month later than usual due to the restrictions of the lockdown period of Covid-19.  This is the longest-running and most prestigious domestic competition of its kind in South Africa, now celebrating 30 years of excellence in wine evaluation.

The group of highly experienced local judges, are meeting at the Nederburg Auction Complex in Paarl to select the best wines and brandies to receive the sought-after Veritas medals and identify the Vertex Award winner as the top wine overall. The wines and brandies are being tasted over five days until Friday 16 October.

The seven most keenly contested categories in terms of entries received are: Red Blends (181), Sauvignon Blanc (149), Cabernet Sauvignon (123), Shiraz (113), Chenin Blanc (102), Chardonnay (102) and Pinotage (70).

The judging process this year comes amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, but the organisers – the SA National Wine Show Association (SANWSA) – has announced that they are the first organisers of wine competitions to be implementing world-leading sanitation systems to judge wines this year during these difficult times.

Thereby, the 2020 Veritas Awards Judging will take wine competition sanitation standards to a new level by employing advanced ultra-violet and ozone air-and-surface sanitation techniques – in addition to applying comprehensive, specially formulated, protocols to ensure the most Covid-19 safe environment possible for the judges and personnel involved. This follows after collaboration with Tharo Wine, a Stellenbosch-based cooperage and sanitation service specialist with its remarkable UV-related Uvozone system.

This, in addition to implementing a 65-page virus protection protocol framework fine-tuned by a health practitioner experienced in developing relevant guidelines for large-scale industrial application.

“We’ve gone to these lengths in the interest of the South African wine industry, taking the lead to implement the most advanced measures possible to create a safe and healthy environment for our judges and personnel involved,” said the organisation’s chairperson, Christo Pienaar.

The Cape Wine Masters continue to play an important role as independent judges at Veritas, with no less than 15 CWM’s taking part over the 5 days as judges. Pictured on day one of the judging are: Jeff Grier, Andy Roediger, Karin Visser, Colin Frith, Winnie Bowman, Anton Swarts, Lizette Tolken, Raymond Noppe and Bennie Howard


The local team of judges consists of various winemakers, researchers, academics, Cape Wine Masters, wine buyers, wine writers and consultants. 

The Competition

The Veritas Awards, now in its 30th year, is South Africa’s premier wine competition. Wine cognoscenti and consumers trust a Veritas award as an unrivalled seal of quality.


Details of the awards presentation will be announced in due course.

Contact us for more information on tel 021 863 1599 or e-mail

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