Wanted: The best of SA’s most popular white wine cultivar

by | Jul 27, 2021 | Article, News

The quest to find the best wines of South Africa’s most popular white wine cultivar starts today.

Entries for the 2021 Sauvignon Blanc SA Top 10 Competition, the only competition in the country committed to Sauvignon Blanc, are now open.

According to Sauvignon Blanc SA chair, RJ Botha, this annual competition plays an important role in promoting the image of Sauvignon Blanc, the country’s top-selling variety.

“The Top 10 competition not only offers the opportunity to producers to compare their wines against other Sauvignon Blanc in the country, but also to be awarded for excellence with a Top 10 award – the ultimate recognition and exceptionally valuable when it comes to the marketing of individual wines. We are thankful for the support of our platinum partners, FNB and EVER Solutions, for making this influential competition possible.”

Enter online and make use of Early Bird Special

Producers and cellars can, as in the past two years, enter the competition online on Sauvignon Blanc SA’s website at www.sauvignonblanc.com/top10-entry. Members can enter at a reduced early bird rate during the first week (until Sunday 1 August 2021) with no increase in entry fees over the past two years. Entries close on Tuesday 17 August 2021, with late entries being accepted until Friday 20 August 2021.

Botha says the cultivar organisation would like to encourage and challenge all producers – big and small – to enter, and that they look forward to welcoming new brands.

“What stood out over the past few years is winemakers’ innovation in the style and flavour profiles of Sauvignon Blanc, which is especially exciting given the future potential of more wooded Sauvignon Blanc wines. This, as well as the potential of the diversity in origin with last year’s Top 10 coming from no less than seven different regions. We have high expectations of the 2021 vintage, but as we have seen in recent years, there are always older vintages that also perform excellently.”

A panel of leading wine experts will evaluate the contenders from Tuesday 31 August to Thursday 2 September 2021 at Uitkyk Estate in Stellenbosch. The judges make use of tailor-made technology on tablets developed in collaboration with Stellenbosch University to make the judging process Covid-19 friendly, faster, and more accurate, as well as to collect additional wine profile data and more useful cultivar information for future research.

This year’s judging panel consists of Dr Winifred Bowman, Cape Wine Master and panel convener, Charles Hopkins, cellar master of De Grendel, wine judge and author Fiona McDonald, winemaker Rudger van Wyk of Stark-Condé Wines, Johann Fourie, head winemaker of Benguela Cove, as well as two protégé judges.

The 20 finalists will be announced in September, while the Top 10 winners will be announced on Wednesday 13 October 2021 during the Sauvignon Blanc SA Top 10 Awards. A technical seminar that conveys information about the Top 10, will be held on Wednesday 17 November 2021 at Allée Bleue outside Franschhoek.

Anyone can become a member of Sauvignon Blanc SA to enjoy the benefits of shared expertise. For more information, or to subscribe to a regular newsletter, visit www.sauvignonblanc.com, call 021 975 4440 or send an email to reinette@sauvignonblanc.com.

Join discussions on social media about the #SauvignonBlancSATop10 and follow Sauvignon Blanc SA on Twitter as @SauvignonSA and on Facebook and Instagram as @sauvignonblancsa.

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