Get ready for a showdown of SA’s best terroir-driven cellars

by | Apr 23, 2021 | Article

The annual showdown of the country’s terroir-driven cellars is around the corner, in the form of the Novare SA Terroir Wine Awards for which entries are soon to be received.

At this ever-growing and more competitive competition, wines which all derive from specific wine terrains are judged, hence the term “terroir wine awards” – something very special for the Cape Winelands and for wine lovers with a passion for the country’s excellent and diverse terrains.

This year marks the 16th presentation of these Awards, during which the wide spectrum of wine flavours from across Cape wine country is revealed.

Prime examples of this are the national winning wines made from two of the world’s most recognised “noble cultivars”, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, which originated from various wine areas. The national Chardonnay winners came to the fore from wine terrains in Ceres, Breedekloof, Franschhoek, Stellenbosch, Worcester, Robertson, Paarl and Darling. At the same time, the Cabernet Sauvignon winners were from terrains in Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Robertson, Constantia, Paarl, Cederberg, Breedekloof and Worcester.

Overall, all the national winners of the different cultivars and styles in the past 15 years originated from at least 28 different wine terrains across the winelands. South Africa is blessed with versatile, expansive winelands which deliver quality end-products.

The Wine and Spirit Board’s Demarcation Committee has in the past year identified six more ‘sub-areas‘, namely wards, as individualistic wine terrains with unique soil-and-climate combinations, three of which are outside the immediate Cape winelands area.

These new wards and their districts of origin are Vlottenburg (Stellenbosch), Porseleinberg (Swartland), Koo Plateau (Klein-Karoo), St Francis Bay (Eastern Cape), Central Drakensberg (KwaZulu-Natal) and Rietrivier (Free State}. The number of South African demarcated wine wards has continuously grown over the years, which once again emphasises the winelands’ terrain diversity.

South Africa is one of the world’s few wine countries which consistently experiences good quality vintage years. Some of these areas, however, from time to time have better vintages than in other years, depending on that year’s specific climate. In general, the terrains involved hardly ever experience below average vintage years and it is particularly interesting to see which terrains yield the best wines from which cultivars.

Only wines certified by the Wine and Spirit Board as wine of origin from a specific ward, a district not divided into more than one ward, an estate-produced wine and single-vineyard wine may be entered for the terroir competition.

Entries this year close on 14 May and late entries (at extra cost) on 25 May. Samples for judging are to be delivered on 24 and 25 May. The judging takes place on 7 – 11 July and the winners’ presentation on 4 August. Five Novare Trophies for Top Single-vineyard Wine, Top Estate, Top Wine Area, Top Terroir Producer and Top Wine in the competition are awarded. National and area winners from all the entered wines are also named.

Enquires to Elsabé Ferreira tel 021 863 1599 /

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