The Cape’s leading wine producers have launched an independent association to build South Africa’s reputation as a producer of world-class wines and promote the Cape’s distinctive site specific wines.
Currently with 22 accredited members and a further eight in the pipeline, the Cape Vintner Classification (CVC) showcased more than 50 of its best site specific wines, at a function held at the Vergelegen Cellar in May this year. These wines, in volume terms, represented less than 5% of the vineyard area of members.
The CVC seeks to ensure that quality Cape wines are recognised alongside the best in the world. It has developed a system of recognition and accreditation for both vintners and wines which will allow for the accreditation, governance and promotion of distinctive Cape site specific wines and provide assurance to customers of the integrity of its members.
CVC, which has evolved over the past years, operates within the structures of the Wine of Origin Scheme and all members meet its criteria for ownership of vineyards or management of vineyards through registered long term leases. In addition they are subject to independent audits to ensure they adhere to four cornerstones of membership.
Key criteria for membership of the CVC are:
Independent audits of each of the Four Cornerstones listed below. The four cornerstones of membership are:
- Technical And Environmental
Members can clearly demonstrate that their wines are crafted taking full cognisance of the importance of its facilities and its impact on the environment.
- Cellar Door Facilities
Members of the public will be able to visit these CVC members and enjoy exceptional levels of hospitality.
- Ethical Matters
All members will have a recognised and acknowledged ethical accreditation based on the International Labour Conventions’ Ethical Trading Initiative, incorporating South Africa labour legislation.
- Wine Quality
The Wine Maker will present the Estate’s wines to an independent committee and will be required to articulate the uniqueness of the vineyards’ terrain and the impact of the winemaking intervention.
Site Specific Wines
Under the Chairmanship and guidance of Neil Ellis, independent panels have been established and conduct blind tastings of wines submitted by its members with the overarching objective of establishing South Africa as a leading producer of world-class wines and promoting the Cape’s site specific wines, a key factor is the CVC’s ability to identify and accredit wines which clearly reflect:
The panel will deliberate both style and international benchmarks in evaluating the overall quality of the wine and the final decision will be made from consensus rather than a simple arithmetic calculation.
Members are required to submit a minimum of five vintages of each wine, not necessarily consecutive vintages, which are required to demonstrate consistency in style and quality.
- Sense of place
All wines, single varietal or blends, must originate from vineyard /s that have been registered as single vineyards with the Wine and Spirit Board. The panels must satisfy themselves that the wines reflect their origin and exhibit a clear sense of place. The Wine and Spirit Board of South Africa has delegated authority to the CVC to accredit wines that meet these standards as Site or Sites Specific Wines.