Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The South African Young Wine Awards at The CTICC

Why do we love going to this awards presentation? It's not really to taste the young wines; they are still very young and need to develop their spurs but at these occasions we get to meet the young winemakers who are involved in making these wines and they are the future of the wine industry
It was held this year at the CTICC and is always a black tie event. We didn't get to go last year as the Gala Dinner was held at Augrabies, near Upington. The event was hosted by the Oranje Vaal Wine Region and Agri-Expo, who has been involved in this competition since its inception 183 years ago. Which may make this the oldest wine competition in the world. It dates back to 1833 when the first show was held by the Cape of Good Hope Agricultural Society (now Agri-Expo) in Rondebosch, Cape Town.
Before the awards ceremony you can go to the wine room and do a tasting of some of the new wines nominated for the awards. We were sad to see how few wines were entered this year and there is a worry that this competition might fail in future if the low entries continue. We hope people will take note and enter for next year. Agri-Expo is keen for wine farms to do so. and to talk to them if they feel the entry rules are blocking entries
We met some friendly faces tasting through the wines, Duimpie Bayly CWM with his wife, Sue
Impressive flower arrangements
We then proceeded to the banqueting hall for the main event. Everyone looking very glamorous in their evening attire
Margaux Nel of Boplaas Family Vineyards in Calitzdorp with Leon Coetzee
Find your table and let the evening commence
Bennie Howard Vice Chairman of South African National Wine Show Association (SANWSA) began with a funny joke and then took us on too more serious matters. This wine show gives winemakers the opportunity to showcase the best wines of the current vintage now. There is an impressive roll call of industry judges. See the lists here http://www.youngwineshow.co.za/judges/
He and Charles Hopkins also talked about the reasons why the entries are the lowest they have been in the last five years and wanted to make the following points. 1. entry is not expensive 2. Don’t think your wine is not good enough 3. People say there are too many competitions to enter, this one is unique 4. Cellars can only enter if they don’t buy in grapes, not true 5. The perception is only regional entries, not national
Christo Pienaar of Agri-Expo who is Chairperson: Technical Committee of SANWSA gave a visual presentation of the history of the competition and Agri-Expo
The glittering array of trophies on stage
We began dinner with quite a good simple starter. A concasse of fresh tomato with smoked Franschhoek trout, mozzarella bocconcini ,radish, rocket and a good herb and balsamic olive oil dressing. The only thing that let it down was the raw onion. Served with good rolls and horror, margarine! The grissini were stale.
Then began the presentation of the trophies. If you would like to read about the winners check the website here http://www.youngwineshow.co.za/awards/
Nice to see Boplaas Family Vineyards take the SAWFA Trophy for SA Champion Port and the Dr A Perold Trophy for Vintage port
The main course was a real curate’s egg, good in parts. The huge ostrich steak was well cooked, but far too gamey for most people. However there was a very good pastry wrapped oxtail on the side, tender and full of flavour. The vegetables were fresh, and gently handled and the wine jus was very good
Charles Hopkins made the awards and had fun with Duimpie Bayly. He told a very long joke
Then finally came the two top awards of the evening : The General JC Smuts Trophy for the SA Champion wine went to BADSBERG WINE CELLAR: for their wooded Pinotage
These awards were presented with a fanfare worthy of J Arthur Rank or Metro Goldwyn Mayer! Badsberg also took the Pietman Hugo Trophy for the best points earned from five or more entries.
There was a rather bland cheesecake dessert like those often served on aircraft but, thankfully, there was also a good cheese table with all the necessary accoutrements
That trophy looks rather heavy, Margaux!
As we left we bumped into two very good old friends we haven't seen for a while, Jean and Audrey Grobbelaar of Rivierzicht farm at Goree riverside in Robertson. It was such a huge event that we hadn't seen them earlier
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2016

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