Searching for SA’s very best young wines of 2019

by | Jun 10, 2019 | News

Winners of the 2018 Young Wine Show

It’s time again for the spotlight to fall on the country’s best young wines. We invite winemakers from all over the South African wine industry to enter their prospective winning wines from the 2019 harvest for the SA Young Wine Show. Entries close on 26 June at the regional wine show associations and on 5 July at the SA National Wine Show Association (SANWSA).

The SA Young Wine Show has been offering winemakers the opportunity to measure their various wines, experimental styles and new cultivars against their peers in the wine industry since 1833, which makes it the oldest wine show in the world.

According to the producers’ organisation VinPro, the wine grape producers and winemakers are positive about the quality of wines from the 2019 crop, despite the effect of the drought of the past few years and fluctuating weather conditions.  “Despite the slightly smaller crop, wine lovers can expect good quality wines from the 2019 vintage. There were fewer bunches with smaller berries, which contributed to increased flavour concentration. The wines are generally characterised by good acids, sugar and elegance, which are signs of good quality,” said Francois Viljoen, manager of VinPro’s Viticultural Consultation Service.

The Young Wine show now presents the ideal opportunity for all producers to compete with their choice wines forSA champion trophies in 17 classes.

The white wine classes are Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Sémillon, Other White Cultivars, Dry White Blends, Off-dry White Wines and Noble Late Harvest. In the classes for red wine, trophies are at stake for the best Pinotage, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Other Red Cultivars and Dry Red Blends. The most outstanding Port, Dessert Wine and Muscadel will also be named.

High recognition is at stake. About 2 000 wines are annually tasted to decide who wins the sought-after General Smuts and Pietman Hugo Trophies. The General Smuts Trophy is the competition’s top accolade and has been awarded to the overall champion wine since 1952, while the cellar with the highest total for five entries receives the Pietman Hugo Trophy.

The 18 specialist judging panels comprise seven qualified members each and will comprehensively evaluate the young wines at the Nederburg Auction Complex in Paarl on 22 – 26 July.  As is customary, an eighth aspirant judge will be included to each panel for training purposes, but these junior judges’ points will not be taken into account.

The national winners will be revealed at the awards function on Saturday 24 August, this year presented by Robertson Wine Valley at the Angora Stud & Classic Car Museum, Bonnievale.

The SA Young Wine Show catalogue and entry form for 2019 are available at or

For more information visit

Stay in touch with SA Young Wine on social media:

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Join the conversation via #SAYWS




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