26 November 2008
South Africa received good publicity once more at this year’s International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC), held in London last week, after the Winemaker of the Year trophy was awarded to local vintner Abrie Beeslaar, on behalf of the Kanonkop Wine Estate.
This year’s competition featured more than 7 000 entries, with southern hemisphere entries coming in four months later than those from the north, allowing for the judging panel to spend over half the year to assess all the entries.
‘Best blended red’
In addition to picking up the Dave Hughes trophy for best South African wine producer, the Kanonkop Wine Estate also make history in the competition by winning the Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande trophy for the best blended red wine for the third time.
Dave Hughes, a respected local wine expert and commentator, has been in the local wine industry since 1986, and was involved in the formation of the Cape Wine Academy in 1979. He has also written over a dozen books about South African wines and vineyards, as well as travelling through the Cape winelands.
“Only a fortnight ago, Madame May de Lancquesaing had joined Dave Hughes and the team at Kanonkop in Stellenbosch for a celebratory tasting and dinner at the winery, in the company of all three cellarmasters that had served Kanonkop so assiduously since 1965 – Jan Boland Coetzee, Beyers Truter and current cellarmaster Abie Beeslaar,” IWSC competition manager Bev Steer said in a statement last week.
“There is clearly a great deal more to be celebrating now!”
‘New World’ wines
According to the IWSC, wines from the “New World” continued to outperform, with Australia once again taking pole position with the highest percentage of gold medals against their number of wines entered, at 3.3%.
“The stringent judging meant that only 107 gold or gold ‘best in class’ medals were awarded across all wine entries worldwide,” the statement read.
South Africa and France came joint second with 19 gold medals each, representing 3.2 and 2% of their entries respectively. New Zealand was the next highest scorer with 11 gold medals.
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