How important do wine producers think competitions are? Some winemakers shun all competitions, while others claim that gold sticker on a bottle is a valuable sales aid.
We’re inundated with wine competitions in this country, and it’s not cheap to enter any of them.
However the one competition most wine people regard as the industry’s benchmark is the annual Veritas Awards Competition.
Entries for this year’s Veritas competition close on August 10. (Late entries will be accepted up to August 18, but at an increased entry fee.)
The organisers expect more than 1700 wines and brandies to be entered, which indicates a strong support.
Running a competition of this size presents a huge logistical challenge. Panels of judges are appointed for each of the many categories, wines have to be sorted, listed, prepared. Ideally each judging panel should include at least one foreign judge.
Behind the scenes teams of openers, pourers and recorders work all day to ensure the smooth running of the judging, which takes place at the Nederburg Auction complex from September 5 to 8. Workers scurry to and fro carrying trays of tasting glasses. Computers hum busily.
The competition has been running for more than 20 years now, so the routine has been honed to perfection and there are few hitches.
The winners of the various medals will be announced in the Cape Town International Convention Centre on October 8.
Anybody wishing to enter wines can obtain forms and the catalogue by visiting the website or calling Elsabé Ferreira on 021 807 3104.