The finalists for this year’s Diners Club Winemaker and Young Winemaker of the Year awards have been announced. Five winemakers have been shortlisted to compete for the prestigious Winemaker of the Year award, while four will vie for the Young Winemaker of the Year title.
The 2017 Diners Club Winemaker and Young Winemaker of the Year finalists are:
Winemaker of the Year category: Pinotage
- André Scriven – Rooiberg Pinotage Reserve 2016
- Christiaan Groenewald – New Cape Wines – Arendskloof Pinotage 2015 and Eagles Cliff Pinotage 2017
- Clayton Reabow – Môreson Widowmaker Pinotage 2015
- De Wet Viljoen – Neethlingshof Pinotage 2016
- Niël Groenewald – Bellingham Homestead Pinotage 2016
Young Winemaker of the Year category: White Wines
- Charl Schoeman – Simonsig Roussanne 2016 and Roussanne Marsanne 2016
- Murray Barlow – Rustenberg Stellenbosch Chardonnay 2016
- Philip Viljoen – Bon Courage Chardonnay Unwooded 2017 and Noble Late Harvest 2016 (Weisser Riesling/Gewürztraminer)
- Wade Roger-Lund – Jordan Blanc de Blancs Méthode Cap Classique 2015
The 2017 Diners Club Winemaker of the Year judges
- William Predhomme
- Carrie Adams
- Debi Van Flymen
- James Pietersen
- Michael Crossley
- Nomonde Kubheka
- Ntsiki Biyela
The competition was first introduced in 1981, with the Young Winemaker of the Year Award introduced 17 years later, seeking to encourage winemakers under the age of 30 to develop their skills and express their individuality.
Open to all winemakers at no cost, the awards celebrate the skills and talent of the vintners. The awards are presented to the winemakers who produce a wine that the judging panel considers to be the best in a specified class. The categories for 2017 are Pinotage single varietal wines for Winemaker of the Year, and White Wines for Young Winemaker of the Year. As in previous years, a few winemakers have been shortlisted for more than one submission.
The field was narrowed down to the nine finalists through rigorous judging over two days by a team of wine gurus, including renowned international judge, William Predhomme. All the judges agree that it will be a close race for the top prize, a clear indication that the finalist wines are outstanding. Judges examined each wine evaluating appearance, aroma, taste, aftertaste and overall impression.
*Pictured are the 2017 Diners Club Winemaker of the Year Finalists:
Left to right: Niël Groenewald (Bellingham), Christiaan Groenewald (New Cape Wines), Clayton Reabow (Môreson), André Scriven (Rooiberg), De Wet Viljoen (Neethlingshof)