Trophy challenge for top fruit of the vine makers

Edward Tsumele

Edward Tsumele

It was quite an interesting experience and privilege to drink the wine that has just been declared the best wine for 2008.

So when I was assigned to this prestigious event at the Park Hyatt on Thursday, I was more than willing to go and be among those who would have the privilege of enjoying great wines.

And besides just drinking the wine, I was educated by wine experts about the process of making wines as well as the trends of wine appreciation in our society.

For example I did not know that the black market is seen as the key to the future for the wine industry because blacks are now being targeted by wine marketers.

For example, the annual Soweto Wine Festival has seen an increase of wine consumption in the township.

And also some of the most expensive wines are said to be doing well in Sowetan eateries and drinking halls, meaning that black people are now increasingly growing a good taste for good wines.

At the award ceremony Kanonkop's Paul Sauer was judged South Africa's champion Bordeaux Blend cellar at the Calyon Trophy 2008. Winemaker Abrie Beeslaar was awarded the Calyon Trophy for the Paul Sauer 2004 at the gala dinner.

Duncan Woods received the gold medal award on behalf of winemaker Louis Strydom for the Ernie Els 2004, the first runner-up, while the silver medal was awarded to second runner-up Julian Johnsen of Bowwood Mountain Vineyards for the Bowwood Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2004.

In 2005, the Kanonkop Paul Sauer 1999 won the silver award at the inaugural judging.

The fourth Calyon Trophy Bordeaux Blend Challenge was held at the Hyatt Regency Johannesburg last Tuesday.

A panel of experts tasted 87 entries from 61 producers with vintages ranging from 2006 to 2001. Results were audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The Trophy winner receives R10000 cash from Calyon and an air ticket for travel to Bordeaux - home of some of the world's top red wine producers and the place of origin of the famous Blend.

The other wines in the Top Ten were Dombeya Samara 2005, Eikendal Classique 2004; Kanonkop Paul Sauer 2003; Klein Constantia Marlbrook 2006; Môreson Magia 2003; Saronsberg Seismic 2005 and Stellenrust Timeless 2004.

By the end of the evening, even though somehow we were seeing more stars than were actually visible as we filed out of the Park Hyatt, we all felt good.