South African Wine Tasting team do well in France

Thursday, 17 October, 2013
South African Wine Tasting Competition
The 2013 World Blind Wine Tasting Championships took place on the Saturday the 12th of October at Chateau Larrivet Haut-Brion, next to Bordeaux in FRANCE. 16 countries competed to win the title held by Denmark in 2012.
Organised by “La Revue du Vin de France”; the oldest wine magazine in the world (founded in 1927);  the World Wine Tasting Championship saw the first participation of a South African Team, from the national selections made at the South African Wine Tasting Championships 2013.  
A team of five South-Africans,  led by their coach,  has  been touring France for a full week, exploring diverse terroirs, improving their knowledge, and getting ready for the World event.  
Chantelle Swanepoel, Gavin Whittaker, Khuselo Mputa, Roland Peens  and Anton Swarts had to recognise 12 wines, chosen from 9 countries, and served blind over a period of 2 hours. They had to find the main variety, the country of origin, the  vintage, the region and the wine producer. A very difficult game when wines can be as diverse as 1998 Chateauneuf to Pape Rayas or 2010 Californian Roussane from Bonny Doon.

Belgium uncrowned Denmark and won their first World Championship! Team South Africa  achieved  a very honorable 12th position for our first participation under the cameras of French TV. 
Coach Jean-Vincent Ridon is very satisfied and proud of Team South Africa: “Team South Africa performed very well considering that exposing ourselves to various wines of the world is very difficult due to few imported wines being available in South Africa.
Team South Africa shares very talented palates and we will endeavor to spread education to secure a higher world ranking in 2014!”  
The participation of Team South Africa in the World Championships was an event organised as part of the South Africa – France Season 2012 & 2013.
More details on

A road movie about  this adventure will be released early in 2014, showing  how Team South African bonded together, exploring the diversity of French terroirs and discovering the French lifestyle, interacting with local producers, showing that wine is a common language to all hedonists around the world, whatever community they originate from.

Final results are:  
1 Belgium; 2- Denmark; 3- UK; 4- Andorra; 5- France; - 5 Germany ex aequo; 7- Luxembourg; 8- Russia; 9- China; 10- Finland;  11- Sweden;  12- South Africa; 13- Ireland; 13 - Canada (Québec); 13  Argentina ex aequo; 16- Spain

Team South Africa was composed of:

  • Chantelle Swanepoel (working for Steenberg)
  • Khuselo Mputa (Sommelier at Aubergine restaurant)
  • Gavin Whittaker (working for Lutzville Cellars)
  • Roland Peens (Manager of Wine Cellar)
  • Anton Swarts (Winemaker for Spier – replacement team member)
Wines Tasted:  
1- Gini Estate "La Frosca" (Italy) Soave Classico 2010 cultivar : Garganega
2- Lackner Tinnacher "Flamberg" (Austria) South Styria 2011  cultivar: Sauvignon Blanc
3- Vins d'Orrange Kama (South Africa) Western Cape 2012 cultivar: Chenin
4- Bonny Doon Cigare blanc (USA) Santa Cruz 2010 cultivar: Roussane (65%) et grenache (35%)
5- Château de Pommard (France) Burgundy Ladoix 1er Cru Gréchons 2010 cultivar: Chardonnay
6- René Mure (France) Alsace Clos Saint Landelin 2011 cultivar: Pinot noir
7- Château Rayas (France) Châteauneuf-du-Pape 1998 cultivar: Grenache
8- Te Mata (New-Zealand) Hawke's Bay Bullnose 2011 cultivar: Syrah
9- Atamisque (Argentina) Mendoza 2009 cultivar: Malbec
10- Alavaro Palacios Les Terrasses (Spain) Priorat 2009 cultivar: Grenache
11- Mount Langi (Australia) Victoria 2005 cultivar: Syrah
12- Château Coutet (France) Sauternes-Barsac 1989 cultivar: Semillon
(ranking and wines as per the website
For further information:
Ridon Communication
78 Hout Street  
Cape Town 8001
Tel 021 422 5206
Fax 021 422 5238