Two top wines announced at Muskadel SA 2015 awards


Beat the winter blues with a proudly South African wine cultivar while nestled in front of a crackling fireplace.

Muskadel SA has announced the winners of the 13th Muskadel SA awards ceremony on 21 May at Noop, Paarl.  There were 22 entries and two wines, Wonderfontein White Muscadel 2012 and Orange River Cellars Red Muscadel 2013, took top honours with one platinum award each.

Wonderfontein Wine Estate, situated outside Robertson, is owned by the Marais family since 1884 and they have already been farming here five generations.

“Our red muscadel took a double gold at Veritas, we are very glad to see that our white muscadel is on par as well,” says Stefan Bruwer, wine maker at Wonderfontein Estate.

Orange River Cellars have become well known for their fortified wines over the years and this year is no exception.

“I think our muscadel are so loved because of its consistent quality. We get our grapes from various producers in the area, so we can blend the wines to perfection,” says Rianco van Rooyen, senior winemaker at Orange River Cellars.  Van Rooyen says that he is glad to see that the new packaging is received so well. “We knew that our quality is good, we just needed to stand out to the consumer, that is why we decided to amend our muscadel label” says van Rooyen.

Other winners

The Breede River Valley maintained their reputation as a top producer of Muscadel and other fortified wines with four of the six gold medals awarded at this year’s Muskadel SA function.  The winners are De Wet Cellar Wit Muskadel 2013, Bon Courage Red Muscadel 2014,Mooiuitsig Oude Rust Red Muscadel 2014 as well as Montagu Winery Red Muscadel 2014.

The Northern Cape scooped up another award with Landzicht Rooi Muskadel 2014 owned by GWK Wines situated in Douglas also receiving gold.

The Boplaas Heritage White Muscadel 2011 from Calitzdorp in the Klein Karoo rounded up the sixth gold award.

Henri Swiegers, chairperson of Muskadel South Africa is satisfied with the results.  “Our main goal at Muskadel SA is to promote and create awareness for the cultivar in the country, and I think we are right on track,” says Swiegers.

Judging

Tasted blind, the wines are judged and scored according to a tried and tested points system.  The uniqueness of the packaging also contributes to the final points tally and often means the difference between a gold or platinum award.  Consumers can identify winning Muscats by the Gold or Platinum Muskadel SA stickers on the bottle.

Dave Hughes, well-known internationally awarded wine and spirits judge was part of the judging panel and boasts his excited about the standard of Muscats in South Africa, especially the lighter style wines which are more like Beaumes-de-Venise, a cultivar from the Rhône Valley in the South of France.  “I personally prefer the traditional full character style but I guess we have to give the market what it wants. I have been judging Muscats since the 1970’s and the standard of entries remains consistently good. I don’t believe the quality can be better. The vintage may play a part in annual variation but our best can’t be better.”

Our sponsor

Enartis SA has been the sponsor of the Muskadel SA Association for the past eight years.  “At that time we considered it an association that deserved more marketing exposure as Muscadel is a wine unique to this country.  It is of very high quality and can be enjoyed winter and summer,” says Steven Baard, Sales Manager at Enartis SA.  Baard also says that on a business level it made sense to become involved as many of their customers produce Muscadel.  “Enartis SA is proud to be partnered with the Muskadel Association,” says Baard.

Image caption: 

Front l to r: Philip Vercueil (De Wet), Rianco van Rooyen (Orange River Cellars), Stefan Bruwer (Wonderfontein), Tertius Jonck (De Wet)

Back l to r: Ian Sieg (Landzicht), Marli Brink (Boplaas), Hermias Vollgraaff (Montagu), Jaco Kockrell (Enartis SA), Henri Swiegers (Muskadel SA), Philip Viljoen (Bon Courage).