EXPECTATIONS EXCEEDED

Expectations are running high amongst top wine producers to see if they have qualified for a SAWi Award. There are definitely going to be a number of new faces to see at the function.

Word has it that we are certainly in for a more than the usual number of surprises. It was established that there will be almost 60 Platinum Awards (95+points) to be handed out with more than 50 Grand Gold Awards (points between 93 and 94) which will be presented too.

The Platinum category of achievers also becomes part of the SAWi Ambassadors Club, currently representative of 31 wine cellars. This is out of a total number of wineries that runs a few hundred. It is expected that only a handful more wineries will become part in 2014.

The criteria for achievement were indeed been set very high. A wine needs a minimum of three years competition results to be considered for a SAWi rating. Without excelling above the rest with a trophy or top ten achievement, a wine will just stay part of the bigger bunch, even if a wine consistently scores 90 points, which by the way should at least be expected nowadays, otherwise why bother? Furthermore, such results must maintain its consistency over multi-years to come into contention for a SAWi Award.

AN UNPARALLELED MEASURE OF QUALITY

The South African Wine Index (SAWi) is an objective measure of the perceived quality of a wine, represented as a single percentage score. The score is based on the performance of a wine over a minimum of three vintages in as many as 84 recognised national and international wine competitions and listing reviews.

The SAWi ‘Algorithm of Excellence’ was created in 2007 by the South African ex-diplomat and wine enthusiast, Izak Smit, in response to a call from celebrated local wine judges and producers who saw a need to effectively highlight wines consistently recognised as exceptional. The producers’ desire was to see an independent measure (objectively) of the status of their wines, irrespective of the vagaries (subjectiveness) of the competitions their wines were entered in.

Only 99 of the 914 wines currently featuring in the Index spanning over multi-vintages and which are representative of 88 out of 528 wineries, were good enough to be recognised as part of the above echelon of an exceptional class.

The SAWi methodology has achieved what those celebrated wine producers hoped it would, with the best scoring wines being acknowledged at the exclusive annual SAWi Awards function. Of the 6000 wines indexed, only the above 99 were eligible to have been mentioned and a SAWi Award thus constitutes an accepted aspirational benchmark for serious local producers, carrying more weight than myriad wine competition awards generally known to the public.

Due to the endorsement of the South African wine producers, SAWi and the value of a SAWi accolade have become better known to discerning wine consumers of late, and SAWi is ideally positioned to enter the targeted high-end consumer market as the definitive measure of South African wine quality.

Along with this unparalleled measure of quality, SAWi embodies a unique philosophy that serves to define a new brand concept with respect to South African wines and the South African wine industry. Only SAWi is able to bring top producers together around the common theme of consistent excellence without the need to resort to a competitive environment, and thus promotes South Africa as a collective producer of exceptional wine, rather than the individuals able to make the odd exceptional wine.

Moreover, SAWi shares the top producers’ commitment to the principles of meaningful social redress from within the local wine industry, and is able (via a strategic plan drawn up for such purpose) to both highlight and facilitate the coordination of this change, as the trusted representative of the best the industry has to offer.

WHAT IS AN INDEX

An index is a single number, the result of a mathematical equation
designed to aggregate a set of data effectively,
allowing us to compare like with like.

As a comparative value in wine quality judging it represents
the objective measure of the perceived quality of a wine
highlighting wines consistently recognized as exceptional.

In setting an aspirational benchmark in wine, it brings together
top producers under a new brand concept promoting SA as a collective.

THE MESSAGE STEMMING FROM SAWi WINE AWARDS

While the SAWi Awards function was yet again a showpiece of the best of the best and another occasion to acknowledge excellence in the winemaker’s craft, there was much more than only the message to carry forward. The SAWi Algorithm of Excellence is indeed a watershed introduction to the industry in the quest to track excellence in wine making.

It focuses on wines that stood the test of time, coming from:
– a year on year consistent performance of the highest
caliber; reaching multi-year point scores of 95+ (Platinum
accolade) and 94/93 (Grand gold accolade);
– partaking amongst the world’s best on the foremost
international stages; any of 84 wine competitions, backed
up by reputable wine reviews;
– taking honours wherever top wines compete; implying ‘best
on show, trophy recipients etc.

In comparison, we all know that naturally occurring diamonds are quite ordinary at first glance, and that their true beauty as jewels is only realized through the cutting and polishing process; somehow, also just like the effort of a bee in making honey! Iconic wines are similarly the result of enormous efforts by winemakers persisting year on year to produce beautiful wines.

One may even say that the SAWi Algorithm of Excellence delves deep between the roots to find such vineyard jewels. Just imagine in applying their craft, what dedication it took for these winemakers, year-on-year, working with elements of nature, to achieve such iconic status, relying as much on inner-craft as on the joy which the end product could bring to others. In achievement, the work of the winemaker is probably like no other business on earth.

A further part of the message, and just as important for the industry, pertains to observing the focused relationship, almost a comradeship, starting to evolve between these top wineries. This involves more than mere back slapping within the industry, and points to increased unity. This depends on doing things differently than in the past in an effort to bring about more collaboration and leveraging of relationships outside the industry to spread the word.

Therefore, it is indeed the pursuit of excellence that is the catalyst for progress and development; and the driving force behind the betterment of the human condition. Thus, the message here is that the only way to create perpetual value in the wine industry is by achieving excellence in crafting beautiful wines and sharing the experience in doing so.

However, wine is much more than only a joyously delicious and sensual pleasure. With top wines, it is possible to create a frame of reference for foreigners who can relate to South Africa’s precious metals, luxurious safaris and sumptuous food as luxuries already linked to SA. It also relates a heritage ‘story of a beautiful place’. In other words, while the winning wines provide a signpost and benchmark for the best, people have to start embracing these themselves in the concept of ‘le patrimoinè’, representing the better aspects of our heritage. That is the third part of the message.

Wines that are simply sublime, formidable, grandiose, majestic and noble should be exalted and talked about whatever the occasion. The world needs to hear this story and we can all start to talk about these top wines on every occasion. This is not about sifting bantams here. Does the wine enthusiast grasp it all? How do we go about telling others about our achievements? We simply need to talk the talk together.

SAWi provides a platform and showcase of what winemakers here can achieve through a system that is more objective and credible. Not in the same way in which some are going around announcing so called ‘‘first growths’, or ‘top 20 lists’ that are completely subjective and mostly for commercial purposes; at most Coca-Cola efforts, which are never game changers.

THE FINEST SOUTH AFRICAN WINES

The South African Wine Index identifies the very best wines by aggregating the results of competitions and reviews from around the world. But can wine quality be reduced to a mathematical formula? Claire Hu investigates.

Which cultivars and regions really have the potential to become South African wine icons on a world stage?

That’s the question the South African Wine Index (SAWI) is trying to answer.

SAWI creator Izak Smit uses an algorithm (for some reason my accountant husband laughed at me when I used that word for the first time in my life) to compilate the results of competitions around the world, showing which wines have consistently excelled over the past few years.

It’s the equivalent of a tennis seeding, based on cumulative results rather than a one-off match.

I was invited to the 2014 results, a bash that brought together the great and good of the industry including a surprising number of very young-looking winemakers. Or maybe I’m just getting old …

It was held at Grootbos private nature reserve near Gansbaai – possibly the most naturally beautiful hotel I’ve had the good fortune to visit.

2014 results

Ninety-one out of a possible 6000 wines managed to hit the 93 points out of 100 needed to qualify for an award – around 3% of SA’s wine farms.

Topline results (log on to sawineindex.com for more):

99 points – Hamilton Russell Chardonnay, Saronsberg Full Circle, Rijks Private Cellar Pinotage and Kanonkop Paul Sauer.

98 points – Eagles Nest Shiraz and Stellenrust 48 Chenin Blanc.

97 points – Bouchard Finlayson Galpin Peak Pinot Noir, Diemersdal Pinotage Reserve, Hamilton Russell Pinot Noir, Spier Creative Block 3 Rhône Blend, KWV The Mentors Shiraz, Raats Mvemve Raats de Compostella Bordeaux Blend.

Wine Producer of the Year went to Constantia Glen. DeMorgenzon received the trophy for White Wine Producer of the Year while Red Wine Producer of the Year went to Kanonkop.

Chardonnay is emerging as a cultivar capable of producing really top-notch South African wine, winning 17 accolades (up from 13 in 2013) with Hamilton Russell winning Top Chardonnay.

This is followed by Shiraz with 12 awards (Eagle’s Nest won Top Shiraz), Sauvignon Blanc and Bordeaux Blends with 10 each (Groot Constantia and Kanonkop Paul Sauer Cabernet Franc Merlot winning respectively), Pinotage (Rijks) and Pinot Noir (Bouchard Finlayson Galpin Peak) with six awards each and other red blends with five awards (Bouchard Finlayson Hannibal).

Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon have been virtual non-performers in the SAWI awards over the five years it’s been running.

Number crunching

Being a maths dunce, I was nervous with all the talk of algorithms and dubious a mathematical formula could capture the magic of fine wine.

But it seems I was wrong; the winning wines were among the best I’ve tasted in one room.

Unlike many competitions, there wasn’t a single dud which I have to admit is sometimes the case when you’re judging a line-up of 100-plus wines. If you don’t believe me, just look at the red faces of judges when tasting the wines they chose at awards dinners.

SAWI’s Brett Garner’s asserted: “In this room are the best wines in the world.” Many competitions were vague and subjective, he said, but the index meant “Joe Public could look at a score out of 100 and know it means something”.

So how does it work? The system attempts to bypass the subjectivity involved in judging panels by using an algorithm to allocate points to wines based on 84 reviews and blind tastings annually over a period of at least three years, with the aim of building a 10-year rolling ranking.

The wines are non-vintage specific, the emphasis on consistency of quality. One bad or very good year may not massively impact on the overall rating as the score is based on multi-year performances.

Each competition and review is weighted according to whether it’s local or international, with bad performances impacting on the final score, and how many weirdos there are on the judging panel (I may have made up that bit).

Quality Message

The aim, says Izak, is to let the numbers do the talking and make sense of wine scoring for the average consumer. “These wines stand the test of time year after year and I believe the world needs to hear this story,” he says.

Of course, the downside is you need to enter competitions to stand a chance of being ranked which can be unaffordable for new farms.

The emphasis now has to be on preaching the message about the quality end of SA wine, says JC Martin, winemaker at Creation Wines which won four awards.

“The good thing about SAWI is at the end of the day if your wine wins five years in a row this is a bigger achievement than a once-off achievement,” he says. “Their biggest challenge is how to carry this message out to consumers.”

WISE WORDS STEMMING FROM A SAWi WINE LEGEND

‘Winemaking, to me, is a sport. Intermingled with a bit of instinct and art. Poetry is also required. All these facets are strongly influenced by the paradoxes of climate and weather… This is my general philosophy, but when I narrow it to test match cricket – the game in its most classic, serious, most stamina-sapping form – the allusion is surely to the most demanding, and yes, testing, grape of all, pinot noir, and to my battle with it here in the hills and vales behind Hermanus. I pace myself like an opening batsman during the harvest. I guard against exhaustion… fatigue leads to mistakes… The flashy, reverse-sweep sort of wine is not me. But I equally believe that a passionate and competitive spirit is essential in the making of great wines.’

Peter Finlayson
Bouchard Finlayson Wines

AN INDEX OF EXCELLENCE

June 27, 2014 • by scar*let nguni • in Out and About, What’s in a glass…. •

Anyone old enough to appreciate South African wine has an opinion on the fermented grape: there’re probably as many wine writers and awards as there are wine makers. With well over six thousand local wines, how do you decide what to drink? Do you choose based on the number of trophy stickers the bottle bears? Google what Christian Eedes drank last night or see how many stars Platter’s gave it?

Opinions are by nature, subjective. And while there’s nothing inherently wrong with subjectivity since we’re entitled to our preferences and opinions, it makes determining a reliable wine ‘standard’ difficult.

National and international competitions are a starting point as these are generally blind tastings judged by a professional panel but even these have limitations: wine producers often have to pay to enter, so limiting the sample size; scoring protocols differ and there’s generally no measure of the wine’s performance, year on year. And how on earth is the man in the wine shop meant to know which award trumps which?
rands & sense…

Let’s illustrate by way of analogy: imagine you wish to invest your savings. Would you be comfortable buying shares based on a single reference point (i.e. company X won a gold medal in the 2010 Da Vinci Startup Awards) or would you prefer information which tells you how company X performed over the last 5 years in relation to similar companies? The gold medal offers limited information as it relates to an isolated event in company X’s history while the latter offers greater insight into the relative performance of the company over a longer period and is thus more meaningful to your decision making process. Now the company operates within an industry with a known average index of 85 for example and X’s score is 90, you could safely conclude that this company is in the top percentile of the industry and is probably a good investment.

This concept of an industry index allows the investor to determine the company’s comparative ‘value’ and forms the basis on which shares can be traded on stock markets.

An index is a single number, the result of a mathematical equation designed to aggregate a set of data effectively, allowing us to compare like with like. Indices provide us with benchmarks, their usefulness evident in our daily life: from the CPI (Consumer Price Index) to GI (Glycemic Index) to BMI (Body Mass Index) to the Dow Jones Index. What if this could be applied to the wine industry? Perhaps finding the holy grail of great wine would finally be within reach.

This is the concept behind SAWi, the South African Wine Index, a score derived from a multi-phase algorithm to help wine lovers identify consistent excellence. SAWi’s score takes into account a specific wine’s best results over multiple vintages, national and international accolades won, proven record of quality as well as trophies and Top 10 listings. The collective wisdom of the judging panels, authoritative reviews and the wider wine industry is distilled into a single figure that drowns out much of the subjective noise, making it easy to distinguish truly extraordinary wines.

The current SAWi ‘average’ of excellence is a remarkable 88.1 (out of a possible 100) based 838 upper-echelon South African wines with index scores over 75 points. Which means the bar is set extremely high. There are then two general accolades: Platinum recognises superior wines scoring 95 or higher and a narrow band of Grand Gold for those achieving 93-94. No awards are given for any wines scoring below 93, ensuring a SAWi decorated bottle contains a remarkable wine.

The annual SAWi awards ceremony was hosted last weekend at Grootbos and proved to be a prestigious but surprising low-key event. Dramatic views and striking architecture provided an elegant showcase for the country’s premier wines. Friday evening saw a select gathering treated to a vertical tasting of Bouchard Finlayson’s iconic Pinot Noir paired with an innovative 5 course menu which was presented by honoured Wine Legend, Peter Finlayson. Saturday’s winter solstice coincided with the gala event at Garden Lodge where this year’s top rated Grand Wines could be savoured ahead of the awards ceremony.

While this year’s awards indicate Stellenbosch is the dominant wine producing force-to-be-reckoned with, I note with pleasure that the Overberg is holding its own, boasting just shy of a third of all Platinum wines. Speaking to Peter Finlayson about the impressive achievements of the Hemel en Aarde region, it’s interesting that aside from a cool climate and high rainfall, what differentiates the valley’s vineyards was the originating intention with which they were cultivated. In older wine producing areas, grapes were farmed, harvested and delivered to wine making co-operatives. Assuming your grapes are going to be thrown into the proverbial collective barrel, the main objective is to maximise the output of good grapes – there’s little point in producing a few brilliant bunches. However, if your intention is to craft a stellar estate wine you invest both time and resources towards differentiating yourself. Judging by the 20 SAWi awards attributed to Hemel en Aaarde wines, the intention to create exceptional wines is obvious!

…but what does it all mean?
I discussed the impact of SAWi with several nominees on the night and it is clear that those making wine are excited by the potential a reliable, recognisable standard offers the industry. With a credible index as benchmark, the true value of South African wines can be gauged and celebrated. While there is emphatic support and enthusiasm for SAWi, the biggest concern is the wine drinking public’s ability to embrace its significance and understand that this is not just another competition.
SAWi may prove to be the viticultural equivalent of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity: a game changer. I’ll drink to that!

REFLECTING ON LESSONS LEARNED

While the SAWi Algorithm remains constant, one of the considerations after adding a category for top wineries in 2011 was that wineries per se should not be judged. So it had been decided to rather change this to recognise the ‘top wine producer of the year’ and overall winner based on the total of a winery’s average points score for all wines produced irrespective of the particular point score.

Another slight change was not to continue to base the winning white or red wine on the highest points score in each category, but to base the accolade on the average of the total point scores of the top high-end white or red wines produced by a winery respectively.

It should be remembered that average points scores referred to here are the scores derived at after the application of the SAWi Algorithm.

THE NUMBERS ADD UP

Deciphering the SAWi wine quality ratings
[θ’3((1+i)/3,q) of rational function (x+4)/(x5-3ix3+2)]

The SAWi wine rating is:
– a description of standard that is used to determine the general competitive level of a wine;
The SAWi Algorithm of Excellence as a description of standard has been developed to describe
rating categories for wine.
– grouping wines of a similar level together within a category;
The number of rating categories is limited to five only to ensure that the system is simple, easily
understood and relatively easy to promote and to use. These are point scores of: 95+ iconic; 94-93
superlative; 92-90 excellent; 89-80 very good; and 79-75 good.

Based on consecutive annual ratings wines are ranked just as in a golf handicap or tennis ranking which are examples of top performers. The relative skills level of players within each category is not determined by the rating system. This is the job of a ranking system.

The SAWi wine rating methodology is applied in creating a convincing national benchmark for quality wines. A wine’s rating should over multi-vintages move to an applicable ranking. As a result, once the SAWi Algorithm is applied for multi-years, a wine’s point’s-score will not necessarily move up much or down as it normally occurs from year to year with the majority of other wine competition results.

Therefore, as can be expected, when the SAWi Awards are presented, a number of wines stand atop other rankings. To become number ‘No 1’ is akin to continuously winning the highest of accolades in wines out there. These are outstanding achievements, made even more so by determining the meaning of the math behind the rankings that so many follow and maybe so few understand. In the words of a clever person describing the challenge of making peace in the Middle East, if you think you know the answer, you didn’t understand the question.

So, let’s then de-code this wine ranking system.
The first thing to know: that it is a 10 year rolling ranking (for which a consistent minimum of 3
year’s numbers – completion results are required). That is levelling the playing field and explains how top wines can overtake each other or stay amongst the top. Have we forgotten how the world tennis or golf rankings work? Even with a loss, results from the previous year(s) could still be better to maintain one’s position, despite losing at a prime event.

Anyone who follows the ranking system in major sports should see why this is significant. In rugby or football teams are re-ranked every week based on their most recent games creating instability and emphasising resent results over long term performance. If tennis were ranked like this, Roger Federer would never have achieved his astonishing streak of 237 consecutive weeks atop the world rankings. He lost more than twenty times while in this position!

In contrast with a rating (which refers to an annual score), SAWi has set an aspirational benchmark for all wineries by way of a wine’s ranking. This is a number that represents a wines general overall status level, based on cumulative annual ratings. Currently this system only provides for the top 125 national wines. In other words, the SAWi ranking system provides a cumulative points number for continues achievement of the highest order, as expressed by way of a NWN (National Wine Number).

Even with a dip in scoring at a certain wine competition, previous year’s results can pull a wine to stay amongst the top. Anyone who follows other rankings based on most recent results only, should see why this is significant.

Considering ratings as one wine competition follows on another, creates instability and simply confuses the consumer with some scores below 80% and others at 90%. A top wine simply doesn’t do that and rather exposes the subjectivity of wine judging.

Next to understand is that rankings are formed by several annual exposers of a wine at multi- national wine competitions. Since the status of wine competitions differ according to how balanced wine panels are compiled or the easiness to pick up a medal of some sorts, SAWi applies different weights to specific competition results. So, the kind of wine competition entered always remains important as it provides a risk. Those which provide consistency in results should be favoured.

There are competitions in which SA competes against SA to produce a somewhat predictable result. But that is in the first round only. After this however, borders are eliminated and the top category
Trophies are chosen from an open field. In many instances South Africa often boxes above its weight. Relative to the reputation of France, the US and Australia, SA often outperforms these countries.

The important thing here is that the ranking is formed by multiple annual events. While there is no compulsory ‘Grand Slam’ or ‘Masters’ events with wine competitions, nor instructions for which competitions to enrol, as with tennis, each competition carries different points.

In fact, failures to defend points can still have a wine move up despite not entering a competition in a particular year. Points can held steady for some time, depending if another wine overtakes yours or fall behind. Competitions have evolved over the years, with SAWi being the first to count them all in its scoring algorithm.

Surely, a wine gets rated only by entering wine competitions. This needs to be continued if you want to compare your wines with others. This may be the cutthroat nature of the game. There is no way to loaf in the lower ranks.

Much more homework is required by wineries in this respect as they have the freedom to control which competitions they plan to expose their wines. Are there wine competitions which could bring forth world rankings? Surely there are!

In other words, the SAWi ranking is like an international tour card. You obtain success only by entering the best wine competitions and you can declare yourself amongst the best in the world based on the SAWi ranking.

Given the rolling nature of the rankings, the best scores for a particular vintage are selected once a year and are not replaced by any most recent weaker result. While lower numbers in a particular year (similar to a loss in a grand slam) may influence the ranking, it may only slightly affect the ranking if the result emanated from a slightly weaker ‘tournament’.

Thirdly, added to the above is another nominal number. Winning an event locally is one thing but doing it internationally is certainly a higher achievement. Just consider the worth of a trophy in such respect or being recognised as part of a top 10 list! Surely, that should count points too.

Together, the above provides a base for defending numbers, which refers to the challenge of rather matching or exceeding one’s finish from the previous year. The ultimate achievement comes not in reaching the top, though, but in staying there. Therefore, to stay on top winemakers must consistently produce the best.

Just over 30 wines (or 125 from the SAWi all-comers ‘Grand Wines Collection’ out of 6000+ odd wines) have been good enough, stayed the course long enough to end tops at another seasons end. And only 4 wines have been good enough to spent 4 consecutive seasons at ‘no 1’. But everyone starts at the bottom. Are there any challengers out there?

This at last would bring meaning to the wine enthusiast and public.

THE FIRST ALGORITHM FOR MEASURING QUALITY WINE

SAWi Awards at Grootbos

Posted under Local Wines by Grootbos on 11th December 2013

The First Algorithm for Measuring Quality Wine
On Wednesday evening, 3 December 2013, we hosted the SAWi (South African Wine Index) Awards. We had wine-makers, connoisseurs and sommeliers under one roof for an exquisite evening of fine dining and a prestigious award ceremony. The ceremony was held in the very exclusive Villa where the wine enthusiasts were surrounded by incredible art and breath-taking views. There were representatives for the respective wineries situated across South Africa to receive the various accolades. Before we name the winners however, let’s delve into the history and cause of SAWi first.

This is the fourth year of the SAWi awards but the project has been running for seven years. It is a completely new, innovative way of rating wines as quality is not determined by tasting the wines but what then?…now we’ve got your attention!

Rather than relying on the subjectivity of the taste bud and people’s natural instinct to rely on familiarity, SAWi created an algorithm that would objectively determine the long-standing quality of different wines in South Africa.

With this ground-breaking list, wine enthusiasts and connoisseurs will be able to choose sensational wine with more ease. Since the method is not applied anywhere else in the world, this credible methodology for adjudicating wine quality will certainly create global awareness about the sensational local wines that South Africa produces.

Now let’s talk about the algorithm:
The first step involves pulling results from 84 different international and national wine panels and expert reviews. By generating a consensus from a variety of wine experts we can get a holistic idea of the quality of the wine. Each nominal point is varied according to the weight of the award (based on the composition of tasting panels and number of medals on offer) or review and whether it is national or international.

Another major aspect is to measure the consistency of the wine so that long-standing quality is discovered and wineries with the optimal resources, knowledge and ingredients pinpointed. Although the project has only been operating for six years the idea is to build it out to a ten year window period for greater accuracy.

The results are measured out of 100. A score of 93~94/100 results in a ‘Grand Gold Award’ while the highest award, the Platinum Award, is 95/100. Of the 6 000 different types of wine in South Africa, only 30 (0.5%) received a Platinum Award so far. That means only 3% of the 586 wineries in South Africa received a SAWi Award! Adding to the fact that SAWi is not a competition, it is one of the most objective, fair and reliable wine guides in the world. Well drink to that!

Let’s raise our glasses and clink to the following local wine-masters that stood the test of time:
(We decided to only mention the wineries and wine-sommeliers from our neighbourhood, the Overberg.

– Peter Finlayson took the Wine Legends Award home, one of the most prestigious titles awarded at the ceremony. He also won Winemaker of the Year with three other winemakers.
– Hamilton Russell took home six different awards. They took home White Wine of the Year for the Hamilton Russell Chardonnay; two Platinum Awards for the Hamilton Russell Vineyards Chardonnay and Hamilton Russell Vineyards Pinot Noir; two Top Cultivars Awards for Hamilton Russell Vineyards Pinot Noir and Hamilton Russell Vineyards Chardonnay and then lastly one of the Top 10 Wineries Award.

– Bouchard Finlayson took home an impressive nine awards! They shared the Winery of the Year; four Platinum Awards for the Bouchard Finlayson Galpin Peak Pinot Noir, Hannibal, Kaaimansgat Crocodile’s Lair Chardonnay and Tete de Cuvee Galpin Peak Pinot Noir; one Grand Gold for Bouchard Finlayson Walker Bay Missionvale Chardonnay; two Top Cultivars Awards for Bouchard Finlayson Pinot Noir (sharing) and the Galpin Peak Pinot Noir and then finally one of the Top 10 Wineries Award.

– Creation took home four awards. One Platinum Award for Creation Wines Syrah Grenache; two Grand Gold Awards for Creation Wines Pinot Noir and Viognier and one of the Top 10 Wineries Award.
– Lomond took home 3 awards. Two Grand Gold Awards for Lomond Sugarbush Sauvignon Blanc and Lomond Syrah. They were also awarded with one of the Top 10 Wineries Award.
– Sumaridge took home a Platinum Award for Sumaridge Pinot Noir and one of the Top 10 Wineries Award.