Bertus van Niekerk announces Vitis Vinifera Awards competition

Monday, 10 June, 2013
Bertus Vitis van Niekerk
The Vitis Vinifera Awards will commend as many wines as possible that are good, and making the choice for the consumer much wider.
There is a new competition in South Africa that will change the way wine is perceived by consumers.  

Vitis Vinifera Awards recognises quality wines available to most consumers. Most competitions focus only on aspirational wines in the ultra-premium section of the market, enhancing the perception that good wine is elusive. This in turn leads to the misconception that appreciating wine is an elitist matter, reserved for a small group of connoisseurs who are able to describe subtle flavours in obscure language.

South Africa produces fine wines across a range of taste spectra and price points. Vitis Vinifera will award these wines, clearly recommending wines of quality available to consumers on more shelves across the globe. We aim to provide real guidance and will award more stunning drinking wines across price categories than any other competition. Based on the average quality of wine currently produced in South Africa, we firmly believe that at least a third of wines entered into this competition will be awarded with a medal. Therefore we will not only reward producers of a large number of fine wines, but also guarantee that the consumer has access to recommended wines.

Many fine wines are not entered into competitions because competitions are structured to only reward a small number of entries. Often excellent wines are relegated to silver or bronze medals based only on the philosophy that superb wines must also be the exception rather than the rule. Few producers enter competitions hoping to achieve bronze and many will even choose not to display silver stickers on their bottles. Ironically, this just exacerbates the problem: it has become very difficult for the average consumer to come across an awarded wine on a regular basis.

Vitis Vinifera Awards will give a fair assessment of quality wine which are already displayed on shelves and listed in restaurants. It will reverse the notion that quality wines can only be bought on allocation or through specialist wine shops. Skilled winemakers in South Africa have the luxury of choosing from a wide variety of ripe grapes as a result of excellent growing conditions and this result in wonderful and affordable wines that can almost be found anywhere.

Although this is not the main focus of the competition, Vitis Vinifera Awards will also award trophy stickers to category winners. Connoisseurs and collectors who select the best this country has to offer will more often than not find that exotic wines bear the Vitis Vinifera Trophy Award. Vitis Vinifera Awards will only award gold, double gold and trophy stickers.

Key dates for this year’s competition are:
1 June                – entries may be submitted via our web page
19 September      – cut off dates for entries
September 24-26 – wine entered in the competition to be delivered to Vitis Vinifera Awards
October 1            – judging starts
October 15          – results published online

Please visit our website to see the values and objectives Vitis Vinifera Awards associates with.