These are the best wines in South Africa in 2018

The winners of the 2018 Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show have been announced.

The Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show is South Africa’s premier wine competition, identifying the very best Cape wines, recognising the achievements of the country’s winemakers, and honouring excellence in the wine industry.

The awards were based on close to a 1,000 wines, with a panel of international and local judges deliberating for several days to identify the best wines across over 30 classes.

Shiraz was the largest class with 106 submissions (110 in 2017), followed by Cabernet Sauvignon at 94 (93 last year).

Pinotage was slightly down (50 compared with 2017’s 53) but Chenin Blanc increased by 26% from 62 in 2017 to 79 this year.

Sauvignon Blanc with 96 entries (2017: 92) and Chardonnay with 80 (2017: 89) lead the white wine charge, while Bordeaux Blends up by 10% on last year at 86 (2017: 79), Merlot at 45 entries (2017: 43), and Pinot Noir (5 up on last year’s 23) with 28, account for the balance of the major red wine classes.

“All serious wine competitions are expected to prove their credentials by including in their line-up of winners producers who would be regarded as the top seeds,” said show chairman Michael Fridjhon.

“They are also expected to act as ‘talent scouts’ identifying – ahead of the market – cellars yet to become mainstream, or changes brought about when leading wine makers change their place of employment.

“The results of the 2018 Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show fit this format pretty much to perfection: the overlap between the names of the top cellars this year with those of the past couple of vintages, the aesthetic message of the winning wines, the new stars sharing the podium with a host of familiar players – all these are gratifying signs that the judges – local and international – have produced a credible and coherent set of results upon which the wine-drinking public can rely with confidence,” he said.

You can find the trophy winners detailed below.


Trophy Winners

Award Wine
Most Successful Producer Overall Warwick Wine Estate
Best Shiraz
International Judges’ Trophy
Best Red Wine Overall
Leeuwenkuil Heritage Syrah 2015
Best Chenin Blanc
Best White Wine Overall
Spier 21 Gables Chenin Blanc 2016
Discovery of the Show
Best Value Gold Medallist
Arabella Pinotage 2017
Best Cabernet Sauvignon Rustenberg Peter Barlow Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Best Sparkling Wine Laborie Méthode Cap Classique Blanc de Blancs 2011
Best Dessert Wine (Unfortified) Buitenverwachting ‘1769’ 2015
Best Bordeaux-Style Red Blend Diemersdal Private Collection 2016
Best Chardonnay Tokara Reserve Collection Stellenbosch Chardonnay 2016
Best Sauvignon Blanc Stark-Condé Round Mountain Sauvignon Blanc 2017
Best White Blend Backsberg Family Reserve White 2017
Best Sauvignon Blanc Semillon Blend Warwick Professor Black 2017
Best Cabernet Franc Warwick Cabernet Franc 2015
Best Shiraz-Based Red Blend Middelvlei Momberg 2016
Best Pinotage De Grendel Amandelboord Pinotage 2016
Best Niche Variety Springfontein Limestone Rocks Child in Time Petit Verdot 2012
Best Merlot Eagles’ Nest Merlot 2014
Best Fortified Wine Landzicht Wit Muskadel 2016
Best Museum Class Sauvignon Blanc Steenberg Sauvignon Blanc Reserve 2011
Best Museum Class White Blend Vergelegen G.V.B White 2013

Read: The world’s biggest wine producers in 2018 including South Africa

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These are the best wines in South Africa in 2018