Thursday, October 27, 2016

Nedbank Getaway Green Wine Awards 2016

Knowing what a long hard path you have to take to become classified as Organic or IPW (Integrated Production of Wine) in the wine industry, your respect should soar for those farms who achieve it. This achievement is lauded and celebrated every year with these Green Wine Awards now in their 8th year, held this year at Rozendal in Stellenbosh. 120 wines were entered in the two categories: Best wines made from Organically Grown Grapes and Best Wines from Integrated Production of Wine. Judges in the Best Farming Practices category looked at not only what goes into the bottle, but considered the wellbeing of farm employees and surrounding communities and the wider impact of farming on the surrounding environments. The Awards are sponsored by Nedbank and Getaway Magazine
The conference facility at Rozendal on the Polkadraai road
Some of the winning wines were there to be sampled
and canapés were served. Chutney and feta tarts
Mini hamburgers
Someone from the media whom we don't see often enough as he is in Johannesburg; veteran reporter Len Maseko enjoying a moment with Anel Grobler of Spit or Swallow
Mushroom Risotto
Very good duck spring rolls
Time to move inside for the awards and lunch
You are over there...
Getaway editor Neil Piper and Kathryn Frew of Ramsey Media
Neil opens proceedings. He told us that Getaway magazine launched these awards in 2009 to encourage the industry to conserve, reduce carbon footprint and green their wines. Quality too is very important. How things have changed in these 8 years. Two decades ago, anything tagged “organic” would have been somewhat out there on the hippy fringe. Organic is mainstream, and nowhere is this more obvious than on retail shelves where sustainable production is now sought after, with consumers happy to pay a premium to be kinder to the environment. In 2015, Integrated Production of Wine (IPW) replaced the Biodiversity and Wine Initiative (BWI) as a judging category in the Nedbank Green Wine Awards
Daniel Rousseau, Regional Manager AGRED Nedbank gave thanks to the partners of the awards, WWF, Ramsay Media and the Nedbank Green marketing team. They are humbled by the growth of the awards and in the accelerating change in the wine industry. They have now produced the world's first Green Map for our local wine industry.
Time for the starter which was mock crayfish using Monkfish in a salad with basil pesto and Buffalo Mozzarella cream served with the Longridge 2015 Chardonnay (this also scored 90 points in the Top Chardonnays this week).There is a nice integration of golden fruit and gentle wood. All the media were so impressed with the wines this year, which has not always been the case
Head Judge Fiona MacDonald talked about the entries. There were 120 wines judged across two categories (Best wines made from Organically Grown Grapes and Best Wines from Integrated Production of Wine category. She said judging was a real treat this year, we are no longer winging it. Improvement in quality has been incremental, not in big leaps. Moody’s have said that South Africa is the fastest growing Green economy in the world. To anyone like Nedbank, who became involved years ago, well done. It is not a 'trend' anymore, we have to be serious about our future. Seven billion Rand has been spent on Green infrastructure in South Africa, without a penny from Government
The judges were Fiona, Dr Winnie Bowman CWM, Nomonde Kubheka, François Rautenbach, and Tinashe Nyamudoka. Two wine bloggers were judges: Jon Meinking and Jeanri-tine van Zyl. Judges in the Best Farming Practices category Duimpie Bayly, honorary life president of the SA Society of Enology and Wine Viticulture, Daniël Scheitakat of the Integrated Production of Wine, and Anél Blignaut, an environmental consultant
Time for the main course: A very good tender beef fillet topped with an olive and her butter and a rather fatty but tasty piece of ox-tail, bones and all. Served on parmesan crushed potatoes, with blanched courgettes and beans and some rocket. We drank the Earthbound 2015 Organic Cabernet Sauvignon
Duimpie Bayly gave an address on Best Farming Practice and then the awards were presented. See them here.

Sandile Mkhwanazi of Wynland magazine looking very smart, rushing off to another function
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2016

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