Attending a Wine Competition is one of the best ways to assess a wine’s quality, and there are plenty of South African wine competitions to ensure that consumers really know whether a wine is a good purchase. Some of the competitions attract massive amounts of attention, with hundreds of wine estates submitting their bottles into the event. Despite wine types being divided into different classes of wine (such as Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon), there is often dozens of entries for each category.

Although being a judge at a wine competition may sound like a dream-come-true to wine-lovers, it is an extremely challenging task. Determining which wines will win awards, especially when the judges are tasting over 100 wines per category, requires more than just having a good palete. In addition to what the wine presents to the eyes, nose, and palate, or the finish, wines win awards for distinctive qualities that separate them from the rest. Sometimes, a full-bodied wine bursting with flavour wins more awards than an elegant, well-rounded rival.

Unfortunately, the good and bad go hand-in-hand. There have been occasions where some wine producers have tried to sabotage South African wine competitions. They have tried to pull the wool over the judges’ eyes by offering a slightly different wine to the one they intend to mass produce, adding ingredients to enhance the flavour of the bottle being shown to the judges.

Nevertheless, South African wine competitions are necessary in order to encourage producers to create the high quality wines the country is known for. By holding these events, organisers are helping to raise the standards in the wine-making industry, holding it to new values and ensuring that South African wines just keep getting better. By holding events to which the majority of winemakers in the country submit samples and encouraging healthy competition, rivalries between the various wine estates ensure that better wines, with new aromas and more exciting flavours, reach the wider public each year.

One particularly well-known wine competition is the prestigious Veritas Awards, where the competition is as fierce as the wine is good. The Veritas Awards is South Africa’s most authoritative and credible wine competition. Experts on the judging panel include winemakers, distillers, researchers, academics, and merchants, and the award ceremony is a unique event to which the public is invited.

Another wine competition that’s gained tremendous traction is the Top 100 SA Wines competition. Despite being relatively new to the scene, this wine competition has already attracted a massive amount of attention from participants from other competitions. The judging panel is comprised of industry specialists from around South Africa as well as other countries, and all scoring is done through a blind taste-test to ensure fair competition.

By running the Top 100 SA Wines competition at a very high standard, South African wines are also getting vast amounts of exposure internationally, giving wine-lovers from around the globe a taste of what makes South Africa the amazing country it is.