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This week, members of the IWSC’s expert judging panels are in South Africa, tasting hundreds of wines from across the country. Together with Elizabeth Kelly MWVictoria MasonMatteo Montone MS and David Kermode, our judging committee member and Master of Wine, Ali Cooper is at Paarl’s Diamant Estate with local judges tasting through 2022 entrants from all across South Africa.

A very quick catch up following the second day of tasting in South Africa.

“Day 2 was another good day of judging, while we awarded fewer medals than we did yesterday – though saying that yesterday was a truly exception day of judging – today’s highs were fantastic. We had a 97-point Bordeaux blend which was without doubt, the highlight of the day

“Once again, the wines made from chenin blanc were looking good, and sauvignon blanc again performing well. I’m impressed by the regional variance for sauvignon blanc here in South Africa and this is becoming increasingly evident, which is good to see.

“Pinotage performing better today and also a grape variety showing impressive regional variation. It was wonderful to taste some wines hinting toward the cinsault parentage – exhibiting more floral and delicate flavours.

“We tasted some chardonnay’s today, and these wines put in a solid performance. So, all in all – a good days judging.”

As well as judging the hundreds of entrants submitted from South Africa to the IWSC this year, our judges are enjoying a busy programme of tastings and vineyard visits. on Monday evening our judges enjoyed an evening at Kanonkop Wine Estate, where they met Kanokop’s CEO and the IWSC’s 2022 President Johann Krige.

Following the first day of judging, the team took to the Spice Route where André Morgenthal, Project Manager for the Agulhas Wine Triangle and the Old Vines Projects presented a tasting of old vine wines. This was followed by a winemakers’ dinner hosted by Charles Back winemaker, Charl du Plessis.

The third and final day of tasting is on Thursday 9 June after which we look forward to sharing details of Ali’s insights into the judging.

Our 2022 wine medals from South Africa will be announced on 15 June. All wine trophies will be announced on 11 July.

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