This is how, say Veritas champs

Six well-known wine and brandy giants earned the respect of wine connoisseurs both locally and internationally when numerous double gold and gold Veritas medals were bestowed upon them during the 2013 Veritas Awards ceremony on 5 October.

KWV took the lead as best wine producer with no less than four double gold and 13 gold medals followed by Nederburg with four double gold and 9 gold medals, Boplaas Family Vineyards with four double gold and six gold medals and De Grendel with three double golds.  In the category for brandy Van Ryn’s came out tops with three double gold medals. In a newly created category based on a cellar’s number of entries, Nederburg was honoured as the Best Performer for more than 10 wines entered, while Flagstone Winery was honoured as the Best Performer for cellars entering less than 10 wines.

A total of 10 wineries clinched two double gold medals each: Delaire Graff, Eagles’ Nest, Flagstone, Graham Beck, Kanonkop, Rustenberg, Simonsig, Spier, Tokara and Windmeul.

“Our extended team, from grape growers through to viticulturalists share a passion for quality and innovation,” explains Johann Fourie, KWV chief winemaker, their continued achievements. “At KWV we are lucky to have the environment and opportunity to live out this approach, and apply it across the board to all our products. We have a consistent focus on the evolution of specific styles of wines made from grapes sourced from regions across the Cape.  Our success this year is a tribute to our fantastic team of men and women – proud pioneers all of them.”

KWV’s double gold medal harvest were awarded for their The Mentors Orchestra Cabernet Sauvignon/Cabernet Franc/Merlot/Petit Verdot/Malbec 2010, The Mentors Pinotage 2011 and the Laborie Blanc de Blancs MCC 2009, as well as Classic Collection Cape Tawny N/V.

Razvan Macici, Nederburg cellar master since 2001, on their constant success: “Our success runs deep and is a part of Nederburg’s DNA. It is founded on an assiduous attention to detail from the ongoing research into the best viticultural management that addresses the health of the soil and involves the strategic siting of vineyards to produce grapes of well-balanced ripeness for our wines.”

Nederburg also won the title of Best Performer in the new category for more than 10 wines entered. “There’s a golden thread that runs through whatever we do,” he says.  “It’s called precision and it’s matched with heart. We want our wines to be both technically accomplished and an absolute pleasure to drink.” Four double gold medals went to their Private Bin Eminence 2011, the Private Bin R163 Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, the Winemaker’s Reserve Noble Late Harvest 2011 and the Winemaker’s Reserve Noble Late Harvest 2012.

Mention Boplaas Family Vineyards and you think of port and brandy of world-class quality.  This year was no exception for Boplaas earned double gold medals for their Cape Tawny Vintner’s Reserve N/V, Cape Vintage Reserve Port 2010, Cape Vintage Reserve Port 2009, as well as for a Cool Bay Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2013 and a 15 year Reserve Brandy. “Patience, passion and precision – those are the three main reasons for our success,” says Margaux Nel, Boplaas winemaker.  “We have to wait 10 – 15 years for the perfect Cape Tawny port; we simply love wine and annually travel abroad to wine countries and we really put a lot of detail into winemaking.”

De Grendel scooped double gold for their De Grendel Merlot 2010, De Grendel Shiraz 2011 and De Grendel Koetshuis Sauvignon Blanc 2013. According to winemaker Elzette du Preez these three winning varieties have constituted the core of the farm’s small, select range of wines from the beginning.“We’re really excited, not only because the wines had to stand out among so many entries but, to get a double gold, at least five local and international panel members had to score the wine 18 [using the 20-point scale] – indicating a real winner,” says Charles Hopkins, winemaker at De Grendel.

In the new category for less than 10 wines entered, Flagstone took the honours as Best Performer. According to Gerhard Swart, Wine Making Manager of Flagstone Winery, there are not secret recipe for success.  “It is also no lucky shot.  Everyone in my team work very hard and have an incredible passion for Flagstone,” he says. “Especially those in the cellar – their attention to detail and our philosophy to search for vineyards with unique terroirs form the building blocks with which we create our excellent wines.”


Van Ryn’s triumphed in the category for brandies with a trio of double gold medals for their Collectors Reserve 20 year old brandy, the Fine Cask Reserve 15 year old brandy and the Distillers Reserve 12 year old brandy.

“Winning a Veritas award, especially double gold and gold is a highly prestigious achievement for any producer and it is an honour to be part of a team who creates brandies that people appreciate and enjoy,” says Marlene Bester, Distillery Manager at Van Ryn’s.  “Over the years our brandies have become internationally recognised for excellence and Veritas gives us an opportunity to highlight their excellence at home.  The publicity surrounding a Veritas award winner is invaluable to any brand as it is a trusted indicator of excellence.”