The organisers of the two oldest wine competitions in South Africa have announced that both their wine shows are going ahead, but are being postponed to later dates.
This decision was taken following thorough deliberation about the presentation of their competitions in consultation with Vinpro, Wines of South Africa (WoSA) and other industry role players. The effect of the Covid-19 pandemic and the ensuing restrictions on all economic and other activities in South Africa have led to normal activities being changed and adapted in order to be able to proceed within this ‘new normal’ situation.
The organisers, namely the SA National Wine Show Association (SANWSA), are fully aware of the responsibility of the safety measures required under Level 3 for these competitions to be able to proceed. Thorough protocols have been developed to be able to handle the wines entered in such a way that all health and safety requirements for the judges, officials and personnel involved in the tasting sessions are met.
The core business of these two shows is to give the wine industry the opportunity to have wines presented for judging and to use the results as a yardstick of quality. The importance of this from a marketing point of view has been proven over years, not only locally but also in the international market.
Consumers are especially focused on the Veritas Awards for its high esteem, as it has been giving guidance on the quality of South African wines available in the market for more than 30 years. It is also the only competition held by the industry for the industry.
Veritas is South Africa’s oldest competition for market-ready wines and has been held since 1991, during which time achieving the status as the country’s most authoritative of its kind. Participants use the results and the accompanying bottle stickers as an excellent marketing opportunity. The Vertex Award for the overall top wine in the Veritas competition, was introduced in 2017.
The new closing date for Veritas entries is 9 September, while the judging will take place from 12 – 16 October.
The SA Young Wine Show is the world’s most long-standing wine show, presented for 188 years already, and it judges young wines made in the year of the competition. It has been giving winemakers the opportunity to weigh up their different wines, experimental styles and new cultivars against their peers in the industry since 1833. Winemakers are particularly excited about the wines of the 2020 vintage, which has yielded high quality white and red wines thanks to highly favourable climatic conditions during both the growth and harvesting periods.
The Young Wine Show once again presents the ideal opportunity for all producers to compete with their select wines for SA Champion Trophy status in 17 classes. Two especially sought-after trophies are at stake, namely the General Smuts and Pietman Hugo Trophies – respectively as this competition’s top accolade since 1952 for the overall champion wine, and recognition for the winery achieving the highest points in total for five different wines entered.
The new closing date for SA Young Wine Show entries is 5 August, while the judging is now scheduled for 31 August – 4 September.
Both competitions’ judging sessions are to be held at the Nederburg Auction Complex in Paarl, where all regulations with regard to safety and health protocols will be implemented and where adequate space is available to ensure social distancing of all personnel, judges and officials.
In line with the practice over years, specialist judges are appointed in all panels to ensure that the top expertise is employed to identify the winners.
A decision about these competitions’ awards functions and possible public tastings will be made at a later stage.