Announcing Gauteng SAWTC Winners...

Sunday, 9 June, 2019
Jean Vincent Ridon
The Johannesburg South African Wine Tasting Championship selection was held part of the Tops at Spar Wine Show on the 8th of June 2019. Taking place at Montecasino, the Tops at Spar Wine Show is the most exciting wine festival for the wine lovers looking for a unique wine experience. The recent partnership between Tops at Spar and SAWTC offers visitors an opportunity to be a top Super Taster.

30 wines were shortlisted out of the 385 available at the Tops at Spar so that SAWTC competitors could try to identify 6 anonymous decanters, and link them to this difficult list! A crowd of more than 150 wine fans flocked the SAWTC table in Jozi and 108 competition papers were returned, the highest participation ever for the Johannesburg selection.

For the very first time three candidates finished with the same number of points, 41 out of a potential 60 maximum, and the jury had to rely on the bonus question to give the podium order! Nkululeko Mkwanazi wins the first position, followed by Johan Smuts and Andrea Woki, all with the same score. They were immediately followed by Pieter de Klerk,Team Nederburg 2018 and Miguel Chan, head sommelier of the Tsogo Sun group.

The challenge was extremely difficult, and the competitors had to identify the cultivar, the winery and the vintage of the wines served to them anonymously. Seven Springs Sauvignon Blanc 2015, Spier Chardonnay 2018, Goudini Chardonnay 2018, Hartenberg Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, Mooiplaas Merlot - Cabernet Franc 2015 and Chamonix Pinotage 2015 were the secret wines, and having two consecutive chardonnays made it difficult for the candidates, specially after a 4 year old beautiful sauvignon blanc.

Team 2018 champion Pieter de Klerk was disappointed, but declared that "I will be back next year, training harder to make sure I can regain my position in the Team". Nkululeko who arrived at the last minute to compete was very happy with the result and shared his victory with Johan and Andrea!

Miguel Chan managed a great performance as he competed without having tasted the wines on shortlist beforehand. Miguel surprised the world by becoming the best blind wine taster at Vinexpo Bordeaux a few years ago, proving today that he is undoubtedly one of the best wine tasters in South Africa.

Johan Smuts, Andrea Woki, Nkululeko Mkwanazi, Pieter de Klerk & Miguel Chan

Nkululeko qualifies for the National finals when Team Nederburg 2019 will be selected at another tough test.  There is one last seat in the finals which will be offered to the top taster at the Tops at Spar Grand West in Cape Town on the 13th of July.  So if you are still keen to test your taste buds - don't hesitate to take this opportunity.

The National Finals will be on the 21st of July at The Taj Hotel in Cape Town, and the world championship will be on the 12th of October in France.

Congrats to the top 10 Super Tasters in Johannesburg:

  • Nkululeko Mkhwanazi
  • Johan Smuts
  • Andrea Woki
  • Pieter de Klerk
  • Miguel Chan
  • Tamara O'Gorman
  • Paul Sheridan
  • Anna Wysoczcuska
  • Kiran Lalloo
  • Tawanda Marume remains a proud media partner of the South African Wine Tasting Championships - keep up with all things SAWTC HERE

The wines revealed

Andrea Woki, Nkululeko Mkhwanazi(Winner) & Johan Smuts
Andrea Woki, Nkululeko Mkhwanazi(Winner) & Johan Smuts

Nkululeko Mkhwanazi
Nkululeko Mkhwanazi

SAWTC Joburg 2019 - (Tawanda on right)
SAWTC Joburg 2019 - (Tawanda on right)

SAWTC Joburg 2019 - Eric Botha on left
SAWTC Joburg 2019 - Eric Botha on left

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