Back l to r: Erik van Wyk (Wellington Wines), Ettienne Malan (Andreas Wines), Andries Wiese (Group Manager Mutual & Federal Agri), Chris Roux (Mont du Toit), JG Auret (Linton Park Wines),
Gielie Beukes (Doolhof)
Front l to r: Theila Conyers (Douglas Green), Lauren Hulsman (Diemersfontein),
Corlea Fourie (Bosman Family Vineyards)
This year, the seventh annual Mutual & Federal Agri Wellington Wine Route “Quest for the Best” was celebrated with an awards luncheon at Douglas Green in Wellington on Friday 29 July.
What is Quest for the Best?
“Quest for the Best” is a competition initiated for 100% Wellington wines by Wellington, celebrating the wine district’s quest to showcase the overall quality and diversity of the Wine of Origin Wellington.
Since September 2012, Mutual & Federal Agri is the name sponsor of the Wellington Wine Route. “We share a common goal and our partnership is built on a mutual strive towards excellence,” says Andries Wiese, Group Manager of Agriculture at Mutual & Federal Agri. “Mutual & Federal Agri has been a provider of financial security to the Agricultural community for the last 185 year and this is an extension thereof. We are proud to be associated with the Wellington Wine Route and their initiative to reward excellence,” says Wiese.
During the judging process on 21 July a record number of 92 wines by 16 Wellington producers were tasted blind by six well-known judges. The wines are judged and scored according to a tried and tested points system.
Bennie Howard – Cape Wine Master & vice chairperson SANWSA
Samarie Smith – Editor Die Burger Versnit supplement
Sandile Mkhwanazi – Journalist at WineLand Magazine
Johann Fourie – Chief Winemaker KWV
Danielle le Roux – Winemaker Asara
Kris Snyman- Cybercellar
According to Cape Wine Master and Vice Chairperson of the SANWSA, Bennie Howard, this year’s outstanding categories are Chenin blanc, Pinotage and Shiraz.
“Chenin blancs had good ripe fruit, the styles were quite diverse – from fresh and fruity to well wooded wines. Both Pinotage and Shiraz classes excelled with beautiful black berry aromas and good tannin structures and a excellent use of wood,” says Howard.
The 2016 Quest for the Best Top 10 wines from Wellington
Bosman Family Vineyards – Bosman Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
Doolhof Wine Estate – Lady in White 2010
Wellington Wines – La Cave Pinotage 2015
Wellington Wines – La Cave Shiraz 2014
Mont du Toit – Les Coteaux Cabernet Franc 2012
Andreas Wine – Adreas Shiraz 2013
Diemersfontein Wines – Diemersfontein Carpe Diem Viognier 2015
Diemersfontein Wines – Woolworths Reserve Collection Pinotage 2014
Douglas Green – Douglas Green Chenin Blanc 2016
Linton Park Wines – Linton Park Merlot 2015
The list is filled with old favourites and some new surprises. Wellington Wines and Diemersfontein each took two places in the top 10 while Bosman Family Vineyards Cabernet 2008 won for the second consecutive year.
Wellington takes the Novare Trophy for SA Terroir Top Area Award
The Mutual & Federal Agri Wellington Wine Route is only the second wine producing region to be named the Novare Trophy for SA Terroir Top Area twice. The first time was with the inception of this award in 2010 and this year for the second time.
The Novare Trophy for South Africa’s Top Single Vineyard Wine was awarded for the first time this year and won by a Wellington cellar. Doolhof Estate’s Doolhof Single Vineyard Malbec 2014 was chosen as a single vineyard wine that represents its specific terroir the best.
As this wine was one of the highest scoring wines, it also won the National Winner for Malbec. Doolhof Lady in White 2010 won the National Winner for White Blend.
In addition to the awards won by Doolhof Estate, other Wellington cellars also did their part to win this prestigious award. Linton Park Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 was named as one of the Top 5 Estate Wines and wines from Wellington Wines (La Cave), Linton Park, Welbedacht, Diemersfontein and Napier also achieved above average scores.
Marko Roux, Viticulturist at Wellington Wines says in terms of terroir Wellington is a very exciting place to work. It is a warm Mediterranean viticulture area where wines have an overall good intensity; it is fruit driven and shows typical cultivar characteristics.
“With the influence of the surrounding mountains and the diverse soil types situated in the area – smaller unique terroirs are formed; the Doolhof valley is a perfect example. The area is filled with forgotten Chenin blanc and Cinsaut vines – this is also a niche market with unique offerings,’ says Roux.
Francois van Niekerk, the production manager at Wellington Wines is also excited about the areas potential.
“The enormous diversity of soil and climate in Wellington grants a space for each cultivar to reach their full potential and to finally deliver a top quality product. The wines show a big variation of personality and the fundamental principles of quality. Wellington is a very exciting and unique area to cultivate grapes and to make wine,” says Van Niekerk.
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Information from Yolandi de Wet PR