Stellenbosch has been selected as the global meeting point this November for a prestigious, multi-disciplinary congress on Chenin Blanc, a grape variety regarded as key to the future of wine growing. One of the world’s most heat-tolerant and versatile cultivars, it is South Africa’s signature white wine grape. The country has more Chenin vines planted than the rest of the world combined, but Chenin’s birthplace is the Loire in France.

This year The Trophy Wine Show Judges’ Feedback Session will be in the form of a webcast, on Thursday 16 June, from 11h00 – 12h00. The session takes place directly after the completion of the Trophy judging. While it would have been wonderful to meet again in person with media and the wine industry, due to certain circumstances, the judging takes place in the week of the public holiday, and a live-streamed event offers the best solution. The link to the webcast will be sent in advance. Please save the date. The announcement in early April that The Trophy Wine Show and The Trophy Spirits Show will be entering a new era with Investec as the title sponsor, has been followed by the publication of the full list of international judges for both competitions. This is the first time since the Covid lockdowns that each of the judging panels at both competitions will include an international specialist invited to South Africa specifically to participate in the competition. As previously – and in fact since 2002 - the wine judging panel will be chaired by South Africa’s most highly regarded wine authority The Trophy Spirits Show .   This year the three international judges for The Trophy Wine Show comprise US wine authority, Anthony Mueller, who covers the South African category for The Wine Advocate; Eric Goettelmann, Meilleur Ouvrier de France Sommellerie and wine director for the Bernard Loisseau Group, and Anthony Rose, wine correspondent for The Independent and well-known wine writer and author.  
The judging panels have been expanded to allow judges to focus on their preferred fields of expertise. The three international judges form part of a star-studded and hugely experienced group whose local members include Heidi Duminy CWM and Principal of the Cape Wine Academy; Tongai Joseph Dhafana, award-winning Sommelier, now winemaker; JD Pretorius, cellarmaster at Warwick Wines; Patson Mathonsi, Sommelier, and regional sales manager for Spier; François Rautenbach, buyer for Singita’s Premier Direct wine progamme, Cathy van Zyl MW, Vice-Chair of the Institute of Masters of Wine's education committee; Gynore Fredericks, winemaker at Great Heart Wines and assistant winemaker at Mullineux and Leeu Family Wines and Spencer Fondaumiere, Chairperson of the South African Sommeliers’ Association.   The international panel for The Trophy Spirits Show will benefit from the expertise of George Harper, Master Blender for Roe & Co. Irish Whiskey and one of the 12 blenders responsible for all of Diageo’s Scotch (and Irish) Whisk(e)y portfolio (the world’s largest whisky business). He will be joined by David T Smith, undoubtedly the world’s most admired gin specialist, and Eric Goettelmann, former chief sommelier for Paul Bocuse and Meilleur Ouvrier de France Sommellerie.
 
Local panelists – all specialists in the field which they have been selected to judge – include Mare-Loe Prinsloo, Head of Research tasked with product development at Distell; Kobus Gelderblom, brandy master; Neil Paterson, whisky maven and owner of WhiskyBrother; Kurt Schlechter, award-winning bartender and drinks consultant; Kresan Naidu, a white spirits (particularly gin and vodka) expert; and Dave Gunns, whisky expert, retailer and educator.   The Trophy Wine Show was designed two decades ago to help the Cape wine industry to calibrate to the expectations of international markets and has played a key role in driving innovation and transformation on the quality side of the spectrum.   The more recently launched Trophy Spirits Show seeks to identify the best spirits available in and for the South African market, or produced in South Africa for export, applying the tried and tested methodology of the Trophy Wine Show.   Investec has been awarded Best Private Bank and Wealth Manager in South Africa, by the Financial Times of London’s Global Private Banking Awards, for nine years in a row. Euromoney’s private banking and wealth management survey has awarded it this same accolade for 10 consecutive years.   Investec partners with private, institutional, and corporate clients, offering international banking, investment and wealth management services in two principal markets, South Africa and the UK, as well as certain other countries. The group was established in 1974 and currently has approximately 8,200+ employees. Investec has a dual listed company structure with listings on the London and Johannesburg Stock Exchanges.

Strauss &Co Fine Wine Auctions is proud to offer a fine selection of the world’s greatest Organic and Biodynamic wines. Today’s wine producers question their winemaking practices, as demand for more naturally produced and sustainable wines has increased. 

Since each producer has a different farming philosophy, categorising the degree of Organic farming is challenging. Organic production dictates farming without the use of synthetic fertilizers, and wine production without ingredients. Some producers are certificated by industry bodies, while others implement their own organic methods.

We are excited to announce that Franschhoek is Celebrating Bastille after a two-year hiatus, on the 16th and 17th of July, taking place in the main road of Franschhoek, with all things French inspired. Dress up in your finest red, white and blue, not forgetting your beret, as you soak all that Franschhoek has to offer – great wines, delicious food and superb hospitality.

Today marks the first of many exciting wine tasting adventures in the beautiful historic building on Hoffmans Lane, Paarl, dating back to 1797. It is now beautifully renovated and restored – inviting visitors into a lush garden before luring them into a trendy, checkered-tiled courtyard where you are greeted by a new open plan wine bar called The Wine Hive.

Vergelegen wine estate, one of South Africa’s premier wine producers, has announced the appointment of its new winemaker. Luke O'Cuinneagain will  take up his appointment around September this year, following  in the footsteps of legendary André van Rensburg (1998-2022) and Martin Meinert (1989-1998). O'Cuinneagain has been winemaker at Glenelly Estate in Ida’s Valley, Stellenbosch, since 2008, and previously worked for Rustenburg Estate for five years.

It’s hard to resist when a log fire beckons, signalling all the warmth of welcoming country hospitality. That’s why, come cold winter days, the hearth is always glowing in the Nederburg manor house (aka The Manor).

Walk into the gracious homestead, smell the earthy notes of the thatched roof, the spice of the wood as it crackles, and then pick up the wafts of honest home-cooked food, nurturing, hearty, and nutritious.

Not willing to rest on its laurels for helping to forge South Africa’s international reputation for some of the most original, exciting, and critically acclaimed wines, the Chenin Blanc Association (CBA) has a new ace up its sleeve.

The organisation has a plan to grow Chenin’s popularity and accessibility with a simple new style indicator that will appear on wine bottles as an icon, either on the back label or as a sticker. The intention is to give Chenin shoppers a straightforward “what you see, is what you get” signal.

Spirit of free creativity shines in latest offering from Franschhoek winery

The boutique Franschhoek winery Paserene’s first release of Dark – a full-bodied and broody 2018 Syrah in its Elements range – is a fine ambassador of the winemaker’s pursuit for appealing and authentic expression. Showing notes of spicy treacle, cherries, and antique leather, this Syrah was crafted from a combination of grapes grown in clay soils in Tulbagh, and sand in Franschhoek. These two renowned wine regions, together with vineyards in Elgin, are the palette from which third-generation winemaker and Paserene co-owner Martin Smith draws for his creations.