Novare SA Terroir Awards Distinctive Wines under strict Covid-19 Regulations

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The closing date for Novare SA Terroir Wine Awards entries is fast approaching following more than a month’s postponement – the new cut-off date being 17 July.

This has been set down by the organisers – the SA National Wine Show Association (SANWSA) – after thorough deliberation on the presentation of its different wine competitions during the Covid-19 restrictions. This in consultation with Vinpro, Wines of South Africa (WoSA) and other industry role players. 

The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and ensuing restrictions on various economic and other activities in South Africa, have led to normal practices having to be adapted in order to be able to proceed within the changing circumstances.

The SANWSA and Novare as sponsor of the Terroir Wine Awards are highly aware of the necessity to comply with the safety measures for proceeding with this competition under Level 3. Strict protocols are in place to handle the judging of wines entered for the competition in such a manner that it complies with all health and safety requirements for the judges, officials and personnel involved with the tasting sessions.

This competition, now presented for the 15th time, evaluates wines of which all the grapes originate from a specific terrain and must be deemed by the panel as being of excellent quality to receive recognition. The national winners from all the styles and cultivars have in the past 14 years been from various wine areas.

The top achievers include Bon Courage in Klaasvoogds (Robertson), Nuy Wine Cellar in Nuy (Worcester), Jordan and Neethlingshof in Stellenboschkloof, D’Aria in Durbanville, Groot Constantia in Constantia, Wildekrans in Botrivier, Hermanuspietersfontein in Walker Bay, Springfontein in Stanford, Doolhof in the Limiet Ward (Wellington), Bergsig in Breedekloof, Anura in Simonsberg-Paarl, Ormonde in Darling and Cederberg Private Cellar with wines from Elim and Cederberg.

According to Pieter du Toit, marketer of Cederberg Private Cellar, which has already achieved several national winners, this competition has in the past years been important in their diary.

“The reason is simple – it identifies the best wine within its area or region of origin. It thus becomes a yardstick and shows the direction to follow for other wines in the same area. Should a wine win more than once, the rest of them know what to strive for. We want to encourage more cellars to participate, as this has the potential to measure winemakers against each other; something for the inner circle,” says Pieter.

Doolhof Estate in the Limietberg Ward at the foot of Bainskloof Pass outside Wellington, won the very first Novare Trophy for South Africa’s top single-vineyard wine and achieved this again last year. Winemaker Gielie Beukes says the Terroir competition is one of the most important platforms to show off their wines.

“Our focus on having the estate’s wine excel especially with single-vineyard wines is an important strategy, a big cornerstone and a driving force for success.  These awards facilitate this emphasis.  Limietberg is a unique area and we are so proud of our wines’ good results in the Terroir competition,” he says.

Jordan Estate in Stellenbosch received the first Novare Trophy as South Africa’s Top Terroir producer in 2014, with three national winners as well as the Novare Trophy for SA Terroir Top Wine Estate. A few months later, this estate also received the trophy for South Africa’s Wine Producer of the Year at the International Wine and Spirit Competition in London.

Jordan’s winemaker, Sjaak Nelson, says that expressing the soil and climate is what the estate is all about. “Terroir does not only show how the wine shows itself in our region, but emphasises the importance of terroir characteristics in our specific smaller area,” according to Sjaak.

The Wine and Spirit Board’s Demarcation Committee recently demarcated a new district and new wards as unique wine terrains. They are Central Orange River District and the wards Groblershoop, Grootdrink, Kakamas, Keimoes and Upington. The Cape winelands now has 89 wards identified as unique wine areas by the Demarcation Committee.

Only wines certified by the Wine and Spirit Board as wine of origin of a specific ward, a district not divided into more than one ward, an estate-produced wine and single-vineyard wines may participate in the Novare SA Terroir Wine Awards.

The Awards’ national winners of terroir-driven cultivar wines, red and white blended wines, rosé, natural and fortified sweet wines and old vine wines (Certified Heritage Vineyard) receive recognition in the form of certificates. The winners in the category terrains are announced in the official documentation and certificates can be ordered. Bottle stickers are available for both the national and district/ward winners.

Novare Trophies for the Top Single-Vineyard Wine, Top Estate, Top Wine Area, Top Terroir Producer and Top Wine of the competition are awarded.

The entries close on 17 July and delivery of samples for judging is scheduled for 23 and 24 July. The judging takes place from 3 – 7 August. The volume-requirement for entries is only 180 litres. The date for the awards ceremony will be announced later.

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