Criteria for SA's top wine area and estate wines

Monday, 27 May, 2013
ML Communications
At the eighth Novare SA Terroir Wine Awards this year the winegrowing terrain that delivers the most highly rated wines will again be crowned with the trophy for the SA Terroir Top Wine Area, which in 2010, 2011 and 2012 respectively was awarded to Wellington, Durbanville and Stellenboschkloof.
"The debate about the criteria applied to decide on South Africa's top terroir driven wines and terrains will probably never end and we regard this as very positive. The question is how to judge whether the wine’s excellent quality is actually due to the specific vineyards’ grapes and should distinctive characteristics from that area be the main criteria. My answer will always be the fact that quality must rule. The judges’ first decision must be how many points out of 20 the wine deserves. Distinctive flavours can only count after quality stands out and then contribute to a higher rating," says Marius Labuschagne, founder and Project Leader of Novare SA Terroir Wine Awards.  

The Top Wine Area is chosen from the number of wines from a specific winegrowing terrain that scored high points. The estate that entered the most high quality wines is also awarded with the Novare Trophy for SA Terroir Top Wine Estate. In addition, the SA Terroir Top 5 Estate Wines are also chosen out of all the estate wines entered.

Wildekrans near Bot River was the 2012 winner of the Novare Trophy for the SA Terroir Top Wine Estate, and the estate’s manager, Braam Gericke, this year is one of the four finalists in the Agri Western Cape Young Farmer of the Year Competition.

The seven judges for the 2013 Novare SA Terroir Wine Awards are Neil Ellis, Guy Webber, Carmen Stevens, Karen Glanfield, Dave Hughes, David Biggs and Irina von Holdt.

"The core of the annual SA Terroir Wine Awards will always be the National Winners out of all the Wine of Origin entries, either single vineyard, estate, ward or district not divided into wards. Every year it is quite fresh and new to see which terrain delivers the top cultivar wines, red and white blends, rosé, sparkling wine and dessert wines. We also select the top wines from each of the different areas."

The closing date for entries for the 2013 Novare SA Terroir Wine Awards is Monday 24 June and delivery of samples by Thursday 27 June and Friday 28 June. The awards function takes place on Tuesday 30 July 2013.

More information is available on, or contact Elma Brand, project coordinator (tel. 021 863 0397;, or Marius Labuschagne, project leader (tel. 021 975 8166;