IT'S awards time again or, rather, as usual.
The wine industry seems to have awards for every cultivar and occasion as winemakers and marketers chase after gold and silver stickers for their bottles to help consumers and international buyers make up their minds.
The Vine Time mailbox was in overdrive this week as estates announced their victories in the annual Veritas Awards held last weekend. When competitions are a dime-a-dozen, the credibility of any awards system has to be impeccable in order to stand out from the crowd.
The Veritas Awards are important not only because they are South Africa's longest-running (and not necessarily because the organisers claim they are the most prestigious) but because they are the only ones run by the wine industry itself, for the industry.
Unlike many others, the awards are not run for the organisers' commercial gain, nor are they covered in sponsors' logos.
The wines are all tasted blind by a mammoth panel of 100 local academics, Cape wine masters, wine writers and consultants, along with six international judges.
KWV took home top honours in this year's awards, with four double gold and 13 gold medals, followed by Nederburg, also with four double golds and nine gold. Boplaas also shone with four double golds, and six gold, while De Grendel bagged three double golds.
Just 68 of the 1792 wines, ports and brandies entered into the competition cracked the nod for double gold, with a total of 1442 medals awarded.
"Best Performer" awards went to Flagstone in the category of fewer than 10 wines entered into the competition, and Nederburg in the category of more than 10 entered.
Now that the judging is done and medals handed out, the organisers are taking the winning wines on a countrywide roadshow and the public will have the opportunity to taste the wines at events in Port Elizabeth on November 12 and Knysna on November 13 and 14.
Contact Jacques van der Merwe on 083-406-3354 for tickets to the PE event, a tasting with light snacks at Squire's at the Boardwalk, and Jenny on (044) 382-0135 for the Knysna events.
Online wine merchants Cybercellar have a special offer on a mixed case of two bottles each of De Grendel's three double gold winners – the 2013 Koetshuis Sauvignon Blanc, 2011 Shiraz and 2010 Merlot, for R570. Check out www.cybercellar.com.