Domaine des Dieux, Cederberg Wines and Kleine Zalze popped the victory corks in celebration last night as all three wine producers brought home silverware for South Africa at the Champagne and Sparkling Wine World championships 2018 Awards dinner. The event took place at Merchant Taylors’ Hall in London, in front of an audience of over 150 international winemakers, producers and journalists.
Cederberg’s 2013 blanc de Blancs Methode Cap Classique won gold while Kleine Zalze palmed in a silver for its NV Methode Bap Classique Brut. But it was Domaine des Dieux who took home Best South African Sparkling Wine for its Domaine des Dieux 2012 Claudia Brut. This comes fresh off the back of Domaine des Dieux’s victory at the Amorim Cap Classique Challenge 2018 a few months ago.
Founder and head judge Tom Stevenson said: “We have been really impressed by the standard of entries this year. The bar was set high from day one and the medal count certainly reflects this. We are delighted to recognise this world-class wine from Domaine des Dieux for the first time!”
Sharon Parnell, co-owner the Domaine des Dieux estate, said that the award bestowed upon their 2012 Claudia Brut MCC was a credit to the dedication of the whole Domaine des Dieux team and recognition that the terroir and cool climate of the Hemel-en-Aarde lends itself to the growing of premium Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and with that premium MCC. Domaine des Dieux was the first producer of a Methode Champenoise styled bubbly in the valley, and with this award cementing them as the home of Hemel-en-Aarde MCC.
2018 was a groundbreaking year for the Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships in terms of the increase in entries from USA, UK, Austria, Brazil, Chile, Eastern Europe, Hungary and South Africa which averaged in excess of 75% of the total. A total of 25 trophies were awarded from 68 Best in Class winners, including 9 National Champions, 7 World Champions by Style and the Chairman’s Trophy, presented this year to Dominique Demarville, Chef de Caves of Veuve Clicquot.
The Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships, for the first time, also saw Lifetime Achievement Awards go to the late Thierry Roset of Champagne Charles Heidsieck, the late Michel Salgues, Sparkling Wine Consultant, whose award was collected by his daughter Anne Salgues, Thierry Gasco of Champagne Pommery, Jean-Paul Gandon of Champagne Lanson, Hervé Deschamps of Maison Perrier-Jouet, Richard Geoffroy of Champagne Dom Perignon, Loïc Dupont of Champagne Taittinger, François Domi of Champagne Billecart-Salmon and Ed Carr of House of Arras. Stevenson praised each and every one for their efforts, dedication and the sheer brilliance they have contributed to the history, development and success of the sparkling wine world as it is today.
Stevenson went on to say, “However it is our mission not just to promote world class wines, but also to discover and reward new and exciting wines from established and emerging regions across the world, so I was particularly pleased to present Carassia, from Romania, with the World Champion Rising Star trophy.
“Although we stick rigidly to recognising and publishing only Gold and Silver medals, to ensure that each and every winning wine is very special, we also want to encourage those producers of Bronze level quality wines from emerging regions or established regions with very little history of sparkling wine production. It’s very hard for isolated producers to gauge how they are progressing when they have no local competition of world-class quality. This is where the CSWWC brings added value, providing exclusive feedback and consistent, objective and authoritative assessment from the same three specialist sparkling wine judges each year. To extend this theme further, we have introduced a new “Rising Star” trophy, which should make the recipient’s exceptional progress stand out in the market place.”