Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Wine-of-the-Month Club Winemaker Awards 2017

Time for Wine of the Month Club to laud their suppliers. The event was held at Vista Marine restaurant which is behind the Aquarium in the V&A Waterfront. This year's event was a chance to taste some of their most popular wines and meet the winning winemakers
Emil den Dulk of De Toren, Mike Ratcliffe of Warwick and Johan Malan of Simonsig all won awards
The man who started this successful (now on line) wine club in 1986, innovator and owner of Wine-of-the-Month Club Colin Collard
with his sons Clifford and Giscard, directors of the company and daughter Natalie, the wine buyer for the club and the publisher of Good Taste magazine
Clifford Collard began the ceremony. They have 30 000 active members and many more casual buyers. A box of wine is delivered every month. How does the selection of the wines work? They invite a panel of ten independent expert wine judges every week. They ask them to taste 40 wines each week (that is 2000 a year!) and score all the wines blind in a neutral environment at their premises. Blind wine tasting ensures that no judge is influenced by a label, the beauty of a wine farm or warmth of the host. As a member, you can order a selection of wines on line or just let them send you a selected mystery mixed case of the wine styles and varietals you prefer. Check out their website
Caroline Rillema of Caroline’s Fine Wines won an award for her own Celestina white blend and Jane Ferreira Eedes was there to collect an award for Vondeling
Some hopeful faces. The panel retastes the top 20 of each category every year and finds the champions. They want to award quality
Kathy Leaver Miller, Account and Marketing Manager at Wine-of-the Month Club
Asif Hoosen, Head of Marketing, Product and Public Relations at sponsor Audi South Africa, said that they "are very interested in the top winemakers, they want to know their 'back' stories and to be part of their future"
More intent wine people, with a glass of Johan Malan's winning Simonsig MCC Brut. This has won this category many times
Giscard Collard began the Awards ceremony
One of the slides showing the demographic of their orders nationwide
and another with the top 10 suppliers to the club
Pierre Waal, of Rijks gets his certificate as runner up in the Chenin Blanc category for the Reserve 2011 Chenin. The other runner up was Carl van der Merwe for the De Morgenzon Reserve
Alvi's Drift was awarded the Trophy for the Chenin blanc category with his Albertus Viljoen Chenin blanc 2015 (a Platter 5 star wine), collected here by owner Alvi van der Merwe
The Trophy of Winemaker of the Year went to Gerhard Swart of Flagstone
Some prizes were also awarded, this is some Laborie MCC for winemaker Stephanie Wiid of Fairview
Then it was time for some food to pair with the winning wines
Spicy chicken drumsticks, superb prawns, and fresh oysters,
Those drumsticks
A tray of canapés
Filo pastry quiches
A wicked selection of sweets, chocolates, biscuits and meringues
and a table full of the winning wines to taste
The trophy winners with Colin Collard, only missing Karl Lambour of Tokara who had to leave early
The individual cultivar winners for the Audi South Africa Wine Awards 2017 are:

  • Chenin Blanc: Alvi’s Drift Wines - Albertus Viljoen Chenin blanc 2015
  • Dry White Blend: De Morgenzon-  Maestro White
  • Sauvignon Blanc: Brampton Wines
  • Chardonnay: Pulpit Rock Wines
  • Bordeaux Blend: Bellevue Wine Estate - Bellevue Tumara 2008
  • Cabernet Sauvignon: Wellington Wines 
  • Merlot: Bayede Royal Wines 
  • Pinotage: Flagstone Wines - Writer's Block Pinotage
  • Shiraz: Stony Brook Vineyards - Syrah reserve
  • MCC: Simonsig  - Kaapse Vonkel

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