Versatility of Cape Winelands in the Terroir spotlight

by | Mar 19, 2021 | Article

The Novare SA Terroir Wine Awards is a showcase of the versatile wine terrains which yield numerous top quality wines from well-known and lesser known grape cultivars.

Some of the world’s wine-growing areas boast certain cultivars and wine styles that excel in their wine terrains. South Africa is one of the most diverse producer of high quality wines of just about all styles and cultivars  ̶̶  a fact borne out regularly at many international awards in recent times.

The 16th annual Novare SA Terroir Awards, presented by the SA National Wine Show Association (SANWSA), this year takes place on 4 August and closing date for entries is 14 May. The results are being awaited with great anticipation to see which Cape Winelands terrain yield the best results from which cultivar or style. A section of the competition which is becoming increasingly important, is lesser known cultivar wines which achieve the points required to be named as national winners of specific cultivar categories.

The founder of Novare, Derrick Roper, the title sponsor since the Awards’ inception 16 years ago, says one of the most outstanding features of the competition is that he has personally encountered numerous new cultivars. “It’s any wine lover’s dream to discover wines from sometimes unknown cultivars. And then to have the special privilege to also taste all the fine terroir-driven wines, from single-vineyard to single-ward.”

National winners among rare cultivars from different wine areas in the past five years include Tannat from Robertson, Grenache from Darling and Franschhoek, Petit Sirah and Rousanne from Wellington and Mourvèdre from Stellenbosch.

The better known cultivars also thrive with quality in various parts of the Cape winelands. In the past five years the national winners of the following cultivars originated from at least four different winelands areas. Cabernet Franc  ̶  Franschhoek, Paarl, Robertson and Stellenbosch; Cabernet Sauvignon  ̶  Stellenbosch, Worcester, Breedekloof and Cederberg; Chenin Blanc  ̶  Stanford, Wellington, Worcester and Elim;  Merlot  ̶  Somerset-West, Paarl, Wellington and Stellenbosch;  Pinotage  ̶  Constantia, Breedekloof, Bot River and Stanford; Sauvignon Blanc  ̶  Durbanville, Stellenbosch, Riversdale and Lutzville, and Shiraz  ̶  Franschhoek, Stellenbosch, Darling, Bot River and Ceres.

This year’s judging takes place on 7 – 11 July. The five Novare Trophies for the Top Single Vineyard Wine, Top Estate, Top Wine Area, Top Terroir Producer and Top Wine will be awarded. National and area winners of all the wines are also named.

Only wines certified by the Wine and Spirits Board as wine of origin from a specific ward, a district not divided into one or more ward, an estate-produced wine and single-vineyard wine may participate.

Entries for the competition this year close on 14 May (late entries 25 May) and samples for judging are to be delivered on 24 and 25 May.

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