Franschoek makes a clean sweep at the Michelangelo Awards

Mark Dendy Young with his awards

La Petite Ferme, set in the heart of the picturesque Franschhoek Wine Valley, was awarded the Grotto Trophy Top Producer Award at the 16th annual Michelangelo International Wine Awards. The prestigious awards ceremony took place on 14 September at the NH Lord Charles Hotel in Somerset West. 

Adding to this sought after accolade La Petite Ferme winemaker and owner, Mark Dendy Young, took home a Gran D’Or for his 2012 Sauvignon Blanc and 2011 Merlot, as well as a Gold for his 2010 Shiraz. Mark, who started his winemaking career with no formal training, believes that his award-winning wines are borne out of his philosophy which is to strive for consistency and create with passion. The cellar has grown from a boutique winery with an initial production of 6 000 bottles, only consumed in the restaurant situated on the farm, to a current production of 70 000 bottles with exports to 14 different countries across the globe. 

“The Grotto Trophy Top Producer Award is a real compliment to not only the Franschhoek Wine Valley and myself, but also to my team which includes the farm workers and viticulturist”, says Mark. 

The AfriRack Best Dessert Wine Trophy was awarded to the 2011 Four Paws Wines Picatso, as well as a receiving a Gran D’Or. Sharing the limelight with its sibling a Gran D’Or was also awarded to the 2010 Four Paws Chardonnay. These award-winning wines are produced by Gerda Willers, whom Mark regards as one of his tutors. 

Joining La Petite Ferme and Four Paws Wines the following Franschhoek Wine Valley producers took home top accolades on the night: 

  • Gran D’Or
  • 2011 Boschendal Reserve Collection Chardonnay
  • Gold Winners
  • BellinghamWines – 2011 The Bernard Series Old Vine Chenin Blanc
  • Boschendal Le Grand Pavillon Brut Rosé
  • 2009 Dieu Donné Merlot
  • 2012 Glenwood Unwooded Chardonnay
  • 2010 Grande Provence Chardonnay
  • 2011 La Chaumiere Estate Pinot Noir
  • 2010 La Motte Millennium
  • 2010 Solms-Delta Amalie
  • 2011 Vrede en Lust Arrisan Range Chenin Blanc
  • 2009 Vrede en Lust Syrah

The internationally recognised competition again experienced good growth in entry numbers, receiving a total of 1432 entries from 295 producers. Among these were 41 entries from producers outside South Africa namelyFrance, Spain, Italy, the Czech Republic, Chile, Lebanon, New Zealand and Australia- the highest number of international entries to date.

‘We’re extremely proud of our winemakers who continue to produce world-class quality wines. In doing so they keep Franschhoek top of mind as a preferred wine destination for local and foreign tourists,’ says Franschhoek Wine Valley CEO Jenny Prinsloo.

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