The magnitude and 180-year-old history of the SA Young Wine Show – the only competition for wines from the current vintage – heightens the value of winning one of the two main awards. This year Diemersdal was awarded the General Smuts Trophy for the best wine of the show and Bon Courage the Pietman Hugo trophy for the highest marks secured for the five best wines entered.
A barrel-fermented Sauvignon Blanc from a 30-year-old block on the Louw family’s farm in the Durbanville Valley won the honours from amongst 2,060 other hopefuls, and more specifically 110 Sauvignon Blanc entries. “Winning this trophy is probably the most difficult achievement in the industry and it is especially superb to win this trophy for a Sauvignon Blanc, which is our flagship variety,” says Thys Louw, 6th generation wine maker at Diemersdal. “I feel that the secret for the success of this wine is that we don’t irrigate this specific vineyard at all – which leads to strong-flavoured grapes.” The wine also received the SA Champion trophy for the best Sauvignon Blanc of the show.
According to Louw the wine was made in the new, ultra-modern cellar where an approach of minimum interference especially conserves the character of the variety. “Wine lovers can expect good minerality and tropical fruit on the nose, with some integrated oak on the palate.”
Bon Courage shone on the prize giving stage of the Young Wine Show when father and son team, André and Jacques Bruwer, were the recipients of no less than three SA Champion trophies and therefore also the Pietman Hugo trophy. “I’ve been participating in this competition from the very start of my wine making career – way back when this was still the only competition for wines in South Africa,” says André. “Winning the Pietman Hugo is the ultimate reward for us!”
The three Championship trophies went to their Red Jerepigo, the Noble Late Harvest and the Natural Sweet White Wine. “The 2013 harvest was a good one with healthy grapes (and consequently no unnecessary chemicals) and a 5 – 10% lighter harvest, which gave us a higher quality grape.” According to Jacques their absolute passion for wine making and a hands-on approach in the vineyard definitely contributed to this achievement.