Team South Africa 2018 still travelling the world

Monday, 4 February, 2019
Jean Vincent Ridon
Team South Africa is gaining international traction with three of its members being invited to judge at the prestigious 2019 Concours Mondial de Bruxelles being hosted in Aigle.

It is a great honour that South African wine tasters are now being endorsed at the highest level of professionalism by having Jolette Steyn from Wine Cellar, Nkululeko Mkhwanazi from Creation, Riedel and Reciprocal and Jean Vincent Ridon from Sommeliers' Academy selected to judge among the most famous professional tasters at the Mondial de Bruxelles.

Aigle is hosting the competition this year following a massive 2018 event in Haidan, Beijing. Aigle is located in the canton of Vaud on the bank of the Rhone river in Switzerland, and is often referred to as the world capital of Chasselas.

Team Nederburg made the headlines in October 2017 for being one of the only two national teams having identified a Swiss chasselas on the first wine served to them blind. This may be the reason why Jolette and Nkululeko have been selected from a short list suggested by CMB local ambassador Jean Vincent RIDON;

Chasselas is the cornerstone of the Swiss wine industry, and although this cultivar was massively planted in Europe in the 19th century, it seems that only Switzerland has a great terroir for this grape with 3500 ha planted. In comparison the French chasselas appellation of Pouilly sur Loire offers less than 60ha of this iconic white grape famous for its early ripening.

This year Concours Mondial will be a massive contrast comparing the quiet small town of Aigle, surrounded by the Alps, to last year's event in ever-expanding Beijing. Concours Mondial is such a strong benchmark on the Chinese market that a museum dedicated to the CMB has been opened in Wixi City close to Shanghai.  Nevertheless, the Concours Mondial is expecting more than 9000 entries this year and will be hosting more than 300 judges from all around the world. Dr Winifred Bowman (CWM) and Maryna Calow from WOSA will be part of the small group of South African internationally calibrated palates judging wines from all around the planet.

South African producers have been entering their wines every year and have brought back many gold medals from the Concours Mondial. This year, Vineyard Connection is offering a special discounted shipping rate - for wines sent before the 7th of February. This will allow smaller producers to enter the event at affordable rate to beat the rand blues,

Entries can be done online on www.concoursmondial.com before the 28th of February.

This experience will offer Jolette and Nkuluko more exposure to the wines of the world, and prepare them to fight for their seat in Team South Africa 2019 in October and hopefully bring the cup back home.

Jolette Steyn
Jolette Steyn

 Nkululeko Mkhwanazi in France
Nkululeko Mkhwanazi in France

Jean Vincent Ridon
Jean Vincent Ridon

Aigle winter
Aigle winter

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