Young wine champions of 2024 sought at the country’s oldest wine show

Friday, 7 June, 2024
SA Young Wine Show
Entries are now open for this year’s SA Young Wine Show, for which winemakers can enter until 21 June in all the country’s wine regions and up to 5 July directly at the Show Office in Paarl.

The organisers of the competition – for young wines made in the current year – the SA National Wine Show Association (SANWSA) – have announced that the judging will take place on 22 - 26 July in die Johann Graue Hall at Nederburgin Paarl.

South Africa prides itself in the SA Young Wine Show being the oldest wine show of its kind in the world, presented for the 192nd time this year. The first Young Wine Show was held in Cape Town in 1833. It gives winemakers the opportunity to enter their various young wines of 2024 from all the wine areas, including experimental styles and new cultivars to compete in the show’s various classes.

The 2024 young wines are being awaited with great anticipation. Despite this having been a particularly challenging year, the winemakers agree that a variety of top quality wines have been made and the consumers can look forward to products of excellent quality.

The CEO of the wine industry body Vinpro, Conrad Schutte, says, “The 2024 harvest was characterised by the convergence of a series of climatic events that occurred at a regional level. In terms of the yield, regional trends varied, which can be attributed to the local impact of unique factors such as frost, heavy winter rainfall, floods, wind, and low summer rainfall.

“Producers had to be adaptable and agile to overcome the associated challenges. Nevertheless, winemakers are excited about the excellent wine quality expected this season, resulting from small berries, good ripening tempo and moderate, dry conditions during the harvest period.”

The Young Wine Show awards SA Champion Trophies in 17 classes, for whichall producers have the ideal opportunity to compete with their choice wines. Moreover, two especially coveted trophies are at stake, namely the General Smuts Trophy which was awarded for the first time in 1952 for the overall champion wine and the Pietman Hugo Trophy, introduced in1996 as acknowledgement for the highest total points achieved for five wines entered by the same winery.

As the custom has been over many years, specialist judges are appointed on all the panels to ensure that the best judging expertise is employed to determine the winners.

The SA Young Wine Show presents a unique opportunity for industry members to annually subject their young wines to judging and utilise the results as a measure of quality. The show is also used by winemakers to present both new styles and new cultivars for evaluation, while the familiar cultivars prove their mettle as young wines.

Thanks to the value of the 19 showpiece trophies – which have already been awarded since the glory days of the Company Gardens in Cape Town and later the Goodwood Showgrounds in different categories in collaboration with Agri-Expo – the SA Young Wine Show has gone from strength to strength as a yardstick  of the country’s young wines in each new vintage year. The magnificent variety of trophies is a unique collection which depicts the rich history of the wine industry, the oldest trophy having been awarded in 1917.

The Cape of Good Hope Agricultural Society – which in 1996 established the marketing name Agri-Expo – has over the years been actively involved with the SA Young Wine Show as thisremarkable competition’s owner and maintains its commitment as patron to this very day. In the process, Agri-Expo has entrusted the SANWSA as organiser with the particularly impressive collection of gold and silver trophies annually presented to the winners.

During the past six years, the Young Wine Show boasts significant encouragement for the two main trophy winners. A partnership between the organisers and Porex SA – a prominent Paarl-based supplier of machinery and winemaking equipment to the industry– has been concluded whereby the two respective winners of the General Smuts and Pietman Hugo Trophies are sponsored for a six-day trip overseas.

Since last year, a further five companies have joined the remarkable SA Young Wine Show with financial support – all five being well-knownsuppliers to the industry, namely Anchor Technology, Enartis, Laffort, Nexus and Standard Bank.

Says Christo Pienaar, chairperson of the SANWSA: “We are excited to have our partners from the ranks of suppliers by our side to build out the SA Young Wine Show to the benefit of the industry. Thus, they share our vision for a brightfuture for the Young Wine Show and also the industry.”

The announcement of the National Trophy winners, as well as the winners of the Pietman Hugo Trophy and the famous General Smuts Trophy for the overall winning wine for 2024, will this year be presented by Agri-Expoat a grand event at Elsenburg on 23 August.

Click HERE to enter

For more information, contact the SA Young Wine office at tel 021 863 1599 or email, or visit

Follow SA Young Wine Awards on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Join the conversation using #sayoungwine.