South Africa sweeps the board at Decanter World Wine Awards

  • Monday 1 September 2008

In an evening full of surprises, South Africa emerged triumphant from last night’s Decanter World Wine Awards.

Rustenberg Five Soldiers

The country won 12 Regional Trophies and an amazing six International Trophies – among them the International Bordeaux Varietal Trophy (Under £10) and the International Rhone Varietal Trophy (Over £10)

Cederberg Shiraz won in the Rhone category, while Amani Vineyards Cabernet Franc-Merlot took the Bordeaux Trophy.

Only 26 International Trophies are awarded. The only other region to come close was Australia with four – but it enters hundreds more wines.

Against intense competition South Africa swept the board in Chardonnay, winning the International Trophies in both the Under £10 and Over £10 categories with Paul Cluver Elgin and Rustenberg Five Soldiers respectively – beating the best that Burgundy, Australia and Washington State could offer.

Then it took the International Sauvignon Blanc Under £10 Trophy – beating top Chilean and New Zealand wines.

  • South Africa is the fastest-growing category in the UK off-trade wine market, according to the latest data from AC Nielsen – growing by 13% in volume, against a total market growth of 1.1%. The country’s value sales also grew by 13%, making it the fifth largest county in the UK market. The UK accounts for a quarter of all South African wine exports.

    Jo Mason, UK market manager for Wines of South Africa, said. ‘South Africa is increasingly viewed as a producer of premium wines with distinctive regional characteristics.’

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