Every year, the presentation of the prestigious 1659 medal of honour (erepenning) to a wine icon is a special highlight on the South African wine calendar.

The Wine Harvest Commemorative event (Wynoesherdenking) is a glamorous event that will take place on Thursday, 06 February 2020 at Groot Constantia Estate, the oldest wine producing estate in South Africa. The prestige 1659 medal of honour has been awarded since 1974 to people who have made a lasting impact on the wine sector and who serve as ambassadors for the industry.

Previous recipients of the 1659 honorary award include the late Prof Piet Goussard, the Unsung Winemakers, Charles Back, Danie de Wet, Norma Ratcliffe, Jan Scannell, Dave Hughes, Spatz Sperling, Lourens Jonker and Nelson Mandela. The contribution of nominated persons or institutions must have a lasting impact, show indications of a particular legacy, change people’s thinking and/or lives, and encourage and inspire others in the industry.

Wine lovers can look forward to a remarkable and enjoyable evening with wine industry leaders, icons and stalwarts – with a gourmet dinner by Simon’s Restaurant, award-winning Great Constantia wines and world-class entertainment by members of the Libertas Choir.

The event is made possible by the financial support and partnerships of Groot Constantia Estate, Die Burger, Standard Bank, Vinpro and the TOPS at SPAR Wine Show. Agri-Expo is the organiser.

Tickets for this event (strictly black tie) can be booked at R800 per person. Table bookings of eight to 10 people are also available. Call Razelle Galant on 021 975 4440 or email razelle@agriexpo.co.za to book.   


The late Prof Piet Goussard (middle) was the 2019 recipient of the 1659 medal of honour, along with partners of the Wine Harvest Commemorative Event (L to R) Dr Ernest Messina (Chairman of Groot Constantia), Reghardt Strauss (Agricultural Specialist of Standard Bank in the Western Cape), Anton Smuts (Chairman of Vinpro) and Willem Jordaan (Editor of Die Burger).

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