Franschhoek Members Bring Home the Awards

franschhoekIt’s awards season with excitement running high amongst producers – both in the wine and food segments – as to who will be taking home the coveted titles. Franschhoek has been proudly represented at the following competitions:

Backsberg clinched an astonishing nine Gold medals and one Double Gold medal at the annual Vitis Vinifera Awards. The Gold medals were awarded to their Chenin Blanc 2015, Sauvignon Blanc 2015, Chardonnay 2014, Family Reserve White Blend 2014, Pumphouse Shiraz 2012, Klein Babylonstoren 2013, Familiy Reserve Red Blend 2013 and Special Late Harvest 2015. Double Gold was awarded to the estate’s Pinotage 2014.

Joining Backsberg on the winner’s list was Grande Provence receiving a Double Gold and four Gold medals at the same competition. Top scorer with a Double Gold medal, was the Grande Provence Pinot Noir 2014, with the Grande Provence Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 clinching Gold. Three wines in the Angels Tears range also won Gold medals: Angels Tears Sauvignon Blanc 2015, Angels Tears Muscat d’Alexandrie/Chenin Blanc 2015, and Angels Tears Rosé 2015.

The Vitis Vinifera Awards is a consumer-driven competition, where the objective is to commend more good wines than any other competition, where normally the focus is primarily on the exclusive, elusive top echelon wines. All entries for this local wine completion were tasted blind by a panel of judges comprising consumers and wine commentators.

Grande Provence scored a hat trick at the 2015 Gold Wine Awards with Gold medals for no less than three of its easy-drinking Angels Tears wines. The 2015 vintages of the Angels Tears Sauvignon Blanc, Rosé and Red all received gold medals at this annual wine competition that acknowledges great value for money wines. This year, wines priced R80 or less per bottle were tasted blind by a panel of tasters from the Cape Wine Academy and some of its graduates.

The Leopard’s Leap Wines Culinaria Collection 2014 was announced as one of the winners at the second annual Standard Bank Chenin Blanc Top 10 Challenge. Chenin Blanc is regarded as SA’s most widely planted variety, and this competition has aided in unlocking this superb wine’s potential. A total of 145 entries were received, which were tasted blind by the five-person panel, with scoring done according to the 20-point system. After the first round of judging was concluded, 39 wines were considered to show particular merit and went through to a second round were the panel could give them more detailed examination. The 10 best scoring wines at this point became the winners.

Now in its 19th year, the Michelangelo International Wine & Spirits Awards is the only wine competition in South Africa with an exclusive international panel of accredited wine judges, wine makers, wine masters, journalists and sommeliers.  This year 17 international wine and spirits specialists from 15 countries were joined by local judge, Gregory Mutambe, as well as brandy and spirits judges, Dave Hughes and Dr Caroline Snyman, to judge the entries over 6 days in mid- August.  A total of 1665 entries from 364 producers were entered in a total of 48 classes, including liqueurs, brandy and grappa. Since 2014 the Michelangelo International Wine & Spirits Awards has brought a panel of liqueur and spirits specialist to South Africa to judge entries in these classes as part of the competition’s annual line-up. Babylonstoren received a Double Gold medal for their Babylonstoren Nebukadnesar 2013, whilst Allèe Bleue received Gold for their Allèe Bleue Brut 2012. Also receiving Gold medals were Boschendal (Boschendal Rachelsfontein Chenin Blanc 2012), La Motte (La Motte MCC Brut 2015), Le Petite Ferme (La Petite Ferme Viognier 2012), Noble Hill (Noble Hill Mourvédre Rosé 2015) and Vrede en Lust (Vrede en Lust Casey’s Ridge Early Mist Riesling 2015).

In his third annual guide to Cape wine, internationally acclaimed wine journalist Tim Atkin MW hails South Africa as the most dynamic and exciting winemaking country in the New World. Chamonix secured a top spot on his First Growths list, while Boekenhoutskloof was classified as one of the top estates on the Second Growths list. Babylonstoren, Bellingham, Boschendal, Grande Provence and Rickety Bridge were acknowledged on the Crus Bourgeois list.  These lists are based on the 1855 Bordeaux Classification, where he uses quality as opposed to price as the only criteria.

Proving yet again why Franschhoek is SA’s Culinary Capital five of the valley’s world-class eateries were acknowledged at the 2015 American Express Platinum Fine Dining Awards.  The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français was recognised for reaching their 10th American Express Platinum Fine Dining Awards, with Bread & Wine, Grande Provence, Pierneef à La Motte and Reuben’s each securing a spot on the prestigious list. Now in its 17th year, the awards’ main aim is to pay tribute to restaurants that consistently achieve excellence, creativity and provide an undeniably exquisite culinary experience.

These latest accolades have reaffirmed Franschhoek as one of SA’s leading wine and food regions. Well done to those who have excelled and we commend you for doing us proud.

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