A wooded Pinotage from Wellington Wines was crowned as the winner of the coveted General Smuts Trophy for the overall SA Champion young wine 2018, at the gala dinner of the SA Young Wine Show on Saturday, 25 August. This winning wine from Wellington Wines also received the trophy for the SA Champion Pinotage at the show this year, as in 2017.
It was the 186th presentation of this Show, the oldest of its kind worldwide, and the 67th time that the General Smuts Trophy was awarded to the overall winning wine of the year.
Orange River Cellars (ORC) Keimoes walked away with the laurels for the sought-after Pietman Hugo Trophy for the highest total points awarded to their five best entries. This producer also won a threesome SA Champion trophies. They clinched the SA Champion Sauvignon Blanc, SA Champion Other White Cultivar (Colombar) and the SA Champion White Blend (Colombar/SauvignonBlanc). Their sister cellar, ORC Groblershoop, won the SA Champion Dessert Wine (Hanepoot Jerepiko).
Bon Courage Estate from Robertson excelled with two SA Champion trophies. They received the SA Champion trophy for Natural Sweet White Wine and SA Champion Noble Late Harvest.
Winners of the Red Wine trophies were Babylonstoren SA, Champion Cabernet Sauvignon (wooded); Stellenbosch Hills, SA Champion Merlot (wooded); Darling Cellars, SA Champion Shiraz (wooded); Le Bonheur Estate, SA Champion Other Red Cultivar (Petit Verdot – wooded); and KWV, SA Champion Red Blend (Pinotage/Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz/Malbec – wooded).
Out of the 1 680 entries, 17 won SA Champion trophies, 49 achieved class-winner status and 99 received gold medals.
The Chairman of the Young Wine Show, Christo Pienaar, said that despite it being a very difficult year due to the drought in the Western Cape, the quality of the young wines that were judged was outstanding. He was also impressed that the winners of the SA Champion wines represent so many of the wine producing areas.
The outstanding wines of the 2018 vintage were announced at a glittering gala dinner evening presented by Agri-Expo in the Stellenbosch City Hall.
The SA Young Wine Show dates back to 1833, when it was held for the first time by the Cape of Good Hope Agricultural Association (now Agri-Expo) in Rondebosch. Agri-Expo has over the years been the proud presenter of the show, every second year as headline sponsor and as co-sponsor in the alternate years.