Red Blend and Pinotage Rake in Michelangelo Double Golds for Du Toitskloof Wines

Du Toitskloof Wines from Rawsonville struck two Double Gold medals at this year’s Michelangelo International Wine and Spirits Awards, one of South Africa’s leading wine competitions, winning a gleaming gong each for Quest Hero’s Journey 1 and the Du Toitskloof Pinotage 2015. Two of the winery’s famed dessert wines each won a Gold medal, namely the Red Muscadel and Hanepoot Jerepigo, both from the 2014 vintage.

The Michelangelo Awards are unique by South African wine competition standards as the judging panel is made up of mostly international judges and include only one local palate. This year’s competition saw 26 judges from other countries judge the over 1 500 wines entered.

According to Shawn Thomson, cellar master at Du Toitskloof Wines, achieving two Double Gold medals at this competition is a tremendous achievement for this popular winery situated in the Breedekloof Wine Valley.

shawn e1464763603104 Red Blend and Pinotage Rake in Michelangelo Double Golds for Du Toitskloof Wines

Shawn Thomson, winemaker at Du Toitskloof Wines in Rawsonville

“As an entrant to the Michelangelo Awards, a winery is not only up against a team of discerning foreign judges, but you also find yourself competing with the very best the South African wine industry has to offer,” says Thomson.

“The Grand d’ Or awards for our Quest Hero’s Journey 1 and Pinotage give recognition to the wine-making team as well as Du Toitskloof shareholder grape farmers who continue to supply the winery with fruit of an ever-increasing quality,” he says. “A special mention must go to my assistant Willie Stofberg for the role he plays in creating our Quest range.”

The Quest Hero’s Journey 1 is a Bordeaux-style blended red wine made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot and represents the pinnacle of Du Toitskloof offering.

“The category for red Bordeaux blends is one of South Africa’s strongest, and to be awarded a top honour alongside some of the greatest brand names in the country’s wine industry is a real honour for Du Toitskloof,” says Thomson.

The Double Gold award for the Du Toitskloof Pinotage 2015 vindicates a philosophy towards accessible, fruit-forward and pure wine-making.

“We believe in getting the wine into the bottle with minimum intervention allowing the pure berry flavours of the Pinotage to speak for themselves, as this is the red wine style today’s consumers prefer,” says Thomson. “I think this accessible and clean Pinotage, which hardly saw any wood, would have stood out in a line-up as these days judges tend to pay less attention to the big, powerful show-stoppers so popular a while back.”

Thomson says Michelangelo is one of the country’s leading wine competitions, having been a part of the South African wine scene for 20 years.

“Apart from the honour being awarded by the panel of judges, Michelangelo plays a major role in elevating the awareness level of your wine,” says Thomson. “With over 7 000 brand to choose from, the consumer needs every bit of guidance he or she can get, and a Double Gold or Gold Michelangelo sticker is a clear-cut way of informing the wine lover that the contents of the bottle have passed the grade.”