The year 2023 will be remembered for the many milestones it brought Boplaas. In addition to several new top-level awards, the family-owned winery expanded its wine and whisky portfolio and Garden Route tasting rooms. Made headlines not only at a major industry auction, but also thanks to the Rugby World Cup.
The achievements and recognition reaffirm the world-class quality that is inherent in the Boplaas name.
Star quality still wines
Amongst the most prominent happenings were Boplaas patriarch and veteran winemaker Carel Nel’s conclusion of 35 years with the Cape Winemakers Guild auction. It was a sad occasion, tempered by a rare wine duo he presented for the event that fetched record prices.
Also standing out was the Boplaas Ring of Rocks 2021, which was awarded 91 points and emerged amongst the Top 10 Red Blends assessed by the panel for the WineMag Signature Red Blend Report. The show received a total of 60 entries from 46 producers. It was another significant achievement for the wine crafted from Portuguese varieties.
Underscoring this was that exactly 30 years ago Boplaas planted Touriga Nacional on the farm, which made this year’s award for Best Touriga Nacional at the SA Terroir Awards going to Boplaas just so much sweeter. The winning wine, named in August this year, was made from the 2022 vintage.
But it hasn’t just been about red wines. Just months after the release of the winery’s maiden vintage Alvarinho white wine, it was rated overall best at a South African show. The Boplaas Alvarinho 2023 was singled out by a panel of experienced tasters, including two Cape Wine Masters, at the South African Niche Varieties Challenge in Cape Town.
Boplaas’s skill and experience were displayed when its Cape Tawny Colheita 2007 was named South Africa’s Best Port Wine at the National Wine Challenge in June. The wine is the sixth, single-harvest tawny to be released by the winery.
The port also took top honours with UK-based MW Tim Atkin, whose report on South African wines remains an annual highlight for the industry. In its latest edition, no less than five wines from Boplaas were rated among the best of the best, with scores of 90/100 and above. One of them was the Boplaas CWG Colheita Cape Tawny 2007, which Atkin voted his Fortified Wine of the Year – for the third time in a row.
The Calitzdorp producer was also the most successful port producer at Veritas Wine and Spirit Awards this year. The winery received one of the few double gold medals presented and two golds. All three medals were for port or Cape-style wines, a category in which Boplaas has consistently excelled. As such, it was also the most successful port producer at this year’s event.
Furthermore, Boplaas claimed the joint highest award for a port wine and Platinum medal for the style at this year’s Michelangelo International Wine and Spirit Awards. Underscoring the Platinum achievement, only 21 among 1 500 entries received this sought-after rating.
The rise of Boplaas whisky
In the past few years, Boplaas has also excelled in the whisky category. The year saw Boplaas unveil three single malt single cask releases and the first single malt aged in the Klein Karoo. The first was a single malt aged in Constantia noble late harvest barrels, the second in Boplaas Cape Vintage Reserve port barrels and the third was a special bottling exclusively selected for the Springboks who won the world cup for the fourth time.
The Rugby World Cup also inspired Boplaas’s special drinks selection, compiled to celebrate South Africa’s four championship victories. Only a limited number of these cases are available, and they can only be purchased from the Boplaas farm in Calitzdorp. Every case contains six bottles, with four commemorating the country’s rugby triumphs. The two remaining wines comprise of a flagship label and the award-winning latest addition to the winery range.