Veritas Young Wine Writer 2017 announced

Burgeoning young wine writer Gosia Podgorska, originally from Poland but today a local wine marketing specialist, has clinched the coveted Veritas Young Wine Writer title for 2017.

Podgorska, the marketing manager at Fairview Wine & Cheese, is versed in four languages and boasts varied digital marketing and writing background since graduating with an MSc in Wine Business from the Burgundy School of Business in 2015.

Her winning article submission was titled Diving into Blue Water,under the specified subject “Bulk to bottle – what will drive the industry shift from volume to value?” Equating the volume of South Africa’s annual wine production to 44 olympic-sized swimming pools, she said the answer is “to shift from volume-driven sales to an increase in local wine prices collectively”.

“In order for our wine industry to thrive, we need to create a splash and welcome in a new wave of change by investing in our local people and soils and creating innovative marketing tactics that connect with our consumers. Now’s the time to dive into blue waters.”

Winner of the young wine writers award 2017 Gosia Podgorska (second from left) with the Veritas executive committee De Wet Viljoen, Christo Pienaar, Elsabe Ferreira and Bennie Howard

The participants also had to submit a more informal, conversational blog entry.Here too, she impressed with her “Reflection on recent client-service received in the wine industry”, as requested by the judges.  Under the heading South Africa - Our Glass Runneth Over, she concluded that “with competition only steadily increasing, a point of differentiation is going to be key to survival”.

Hereby Podgorska won herself R15 000 in prize-money. The runner-up, Jo Wessels – a South African doing his final year of a BSc in International Wine Business at Geisenheim University in Germany – collected R7 500.

The judging panel, comprising the seasoned South African wine journalists David Biggs, Cassie du Plessis, Cathryn Henderson, Dave Hughes, Danie Keet and Neil Pendock, were unanimous in their praise for overall winner Ms Podgorska’s “excellent writing, easy flow, relevant facts and interesting insights”.

They described this year’s general standard of writing as based on good research and knowledge, well-reasoned and flowing from enthusiasm for the industry.In fact, overall the best entries yet in this competition.

The announcement was made by the South African National Wine Show Association (SANWSA) – custodians of this competition and presenters of the SA Young Wine Show and Veritas Awards – at Neethlingshof Estate in Stellenbosch today (Monday 04 December).

Commenting at the prize-handover, SANWSA chairperson Christo Pienaar said that he was highly impressed by the standards of the entries and that the industry will benefit from young wine writers showing their skills.

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Winner of the young wine writers award 2017 Gosia Podgorska

Alan Ware receiving the runner up award on behalf of Jo Wessels, who is studying overseas, from chai

Gosia with some of the judges: Edo Heyns, Cassie du Plessis, Dave Hughes and Danie Keet