Diemersdal Wins Gold at first Concours du Sauvignon held Outside Europe

In the first Concours Mondial du Sauvignon competition to be held outside Europe, Diemersdal Estate in Durbanville won one of only 26 gold medals that went to South African producers after this year’s judging. The Concours gold medal went to the Diemersdal Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2022, a wine that last year drew spectacular accolades, winning an FNB Sauvignon Blanc SA Top 10 spot, as well as double gold at the Veritas Wine Competition. 

For this year’s Concours Mondial du Sauvignon, some 50 international wine experts travelled to South Africa to judge at this esteemed international wine show which took place in the Cape early in March this year. More than 1 210 wines from 20 countries were entered into the competition, the results for the 14th Concours Mondial du Sauvignon having been announced at the ProWein wine fair in Düsseldorf, Germany this week.

Thys Louw, Diemersdal proprietor and winemaker, says the gold medal Diemersdal achieved at this year’s Concours Mondial du Sauvignon was the cherry on top in a week that saw the world focussing on South African Sauvignon Blanc. 

“Just to have Concours du Sauvignon taking place in South Arica for the first time and to be a part of welcoming the international judges to our winelands was already a privileged experience for Diemersdal,” says Thys. “This is the world’s most important competition for Sauvignon Blanc, the Concours brand being associated with global wine excellence. To have South Africa now a part of Concours du Mondial history is enough to create a winning feeling for any producer. And to see Diemersdal achieve a gold medal in all this is a welcome added bonus.”

With regards to the wine which took Concours gold, Diemersdal Sauvignon Blanc Reserve originates from the highest vineyards on the Durbanville property lying at 300m above sea-level. “This allows for direct exposure to the cool air-flows and mists from the nearby Atlantic Ocean, as well as being fanned by the brisk south-easterly wind in summer,” says Thys. 

Soils are of decomposed granite, with a clay component providing water-retention capabilities, something which is necessary at Diemersdal as all the farm’s vineyards are dryland with no irrigation, the vines thus being totally dependent on the 600mm of rainfall per year.

After harvesting the juice was fermented and kept on gross lees in stainless steel tanks for five months, with monthly lees stirring for optimal flavour complexity and texture.

“Sauvignon Blanc Reserve is truly a minimum intervention wine with the emphasis on purity expressing its elevated site, the soil composition and the exposure to wind from the Atlantic Ocean and from the south-east,” he says. 

According to Thys, the fact that the international organisers of Concours Mondial du Sauvignon chose to hold this year’s event in South Africa underscores the growing importance of the Sauvignon Blanc category in the country’s wine offering.

“The variety has firmly staked its place at the top-end of South Africa’s wine offering, both in terms of quality as well as its popularity among local and international consumers,” he says. “Winning a Concours du Sauvignon gold medal is always a tremendous honour, and for me as a Durbanville producer these awards are also very important for the reputation of Durbanville as a leading wine region, as well as for the Cape wine industry.”