Category Archives: Wine Competition

Going green

On Thursday, 17 November I had the fortunate pleasure of attending the 3rd Nedbank Green Wine Awards function at the Mount Nelson.

Nedbank is the apt sponsor of these awards as they were recently announced as the first carbon neutral bank.

The awards have found a happy new home at Getaway Magazine after Ramsay Media decided to no longer produce Wine Magazine. According to Getaway Editor in Chief, Cameron Ewart-Smith, this is a perfect match as the new home for the awards. He stated that the Getaway readers were environmentally conscious and were the perfect target market for green wines.

My favourite wine at the awards was the Waverley Hills Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2010 that is a beautiful light, crisp and affordable introduction for the general consumer to a white Bordeaux Blend. The wine has a very low 12.9% alcohol and gained a 4-star rating from the 3-man panel headed by Christian Eedes. (Read more about the controversial topic of how many judges are enough from Edo Heyns on his blog at

Christian made the comment that three years earlier he said that he hoped that one day the awards would no longer be necessary once everyone adopted bio-dynamic farming methods. This dream might not seem feasible now with the current economic conditions making organic farming even more risky but it might also not be too far away.

On the same day that the awards took place the South African Government forged support for a “green accord” that is aimed at creating 300 000 green jobs within the next ten years. Many of the proposed jobs are also set to be created in the agricultural sector.

The only sad thing about the day was the fact that the entries and number of producers were significantly down from the previous two years. This is quite a sad state for the industry as we should be supporting awards like this one that highlight niche markets. And we should all try to support farming methods that promote a sustainable future.

We could all take a page from Mahatma Ghandi’s book of wisdom, “be the change you want to see in the world”.

This article was first published as a blog post on WINE.CO.ZA, please click here to see the original article.


Results of 100 Women 100 Wines competition announced

This past weekend saw 100 women descend on Cape Town with one goal in mind, to determine the top 100 wines in the country as favoured and recommend by women.

The competition was structured in a relaxed manner and required 50 sets of friends to elect the winning wines on the basis of ten real life scenario’s. The ten categories were as follows:

1. Braai drinking: sunny day, outdoor, easy drinking to go with braai cuisine
2. The in-laws are coming: something to impress
3. The big date – romance is in the air: wine to compliment the moment
4. Long lunch: girlfriends, gossip and a long lunch
5. Mid-week easy drinking: turn on the TV and kick off those shoes, honey
6. Posh Present: impress and show your true feelings with a posh bottle
7. Kiss and make up: soothe frayed nerves and be friends again
8. Baby it’s cold outside: snuggle indoors with a winter warmer
9. Girls Night Out: fun, light hearted, a party
10. Bubbly: bubbles for a special occasion

Though I was not present at the tasting on the 27th of August at the Victoria and Alfred Hotel in Cape Town, I did meet up with the ladies afterwards for the gala dinner and cocktail party.

We were hosted by the Victoria and Alfred Hotel in their Forum venue for the event where the food was prepared by Stephen Templeton who is the Executive Chef for the three restaurants (Victoria and Alfred Hotel, The Dock House Boutique Hotel and Spa, and the Queen Victoria Hotel) in the Newmark Hotels portfolio. Our three course meal was expertly prepared (no small feat for a group of over one hundred guests) and paired with three wines from Fleur Du Cap.

I was lucky enough to have Clare Mack from at my table where I was able to quiz her on the competition details. According to Clare the competition was “the most amazing competition I have ever been to”. She was especially happy at how well the women, who came from a number of different backgrounds, racial groups and cultural heritages, got along.

The whole competition was conducted sighted and the women were allowed to decide on their favourites while in full view of the labels and price tags. Most of the women I spoke to said that it was an extremely exciting event to be a part of as they were happy to be able to recommend their chosen wines to their friends.

All 100 women were put up in the Newmark Group’s hotels and were treated to all their meals at the Victoria and Alfred Hotel where I was also fortunate enough to spend the evening after the gala dinner. It was also just as well as the women were certainly set to party after judging all afternoon (most of them admitted to not spitting the wine while they tasted).

The Fleur Du Cap wines, made by woman winemaker Andrea Freeborough, went down well with the ladies as they enjoyed their three course meal. Contemporary a cappella group Perfect Score made sure the women were well entertained and even relented to performing two encore songs.

The competition was also such a hit with the women, many of whom were visiting Cape Town for the first time, that they all enquired whether they’d be able to enter again next year. The success of the competition has already been noted by the number of new sponsors already showing an interest in participating in 2012.

The sponsors for 2011 were Destiny Magazine, Tops at Spar, 1Time Airlines, the Victoria and Alfred Hotel, Cape Town Tourism and event organisers

For a complete list of winners please click here. To view some pictures from the event please click here to visit our Facebook page.

This article was first published on WINE.CO.ZA, please click here to see the original article.