Stellenbosch – Spier is honoured to have been recognised once again at the 2023 Veritas Awards held this month. The Spier 21 Gables Chenin Blanc 2021, Creative Block 5 2020 and Seaward Chenin Blanc 2022 received the coveted Double Gold medal, while the following wines received an exciting Gold medal:
Private Collection Chenin Blanc 2022 (a Woolworths exclusive)
Woolworths Signature Series Merlot 2019
Creative Block 2 2022
Seaward Cabernet Sauvignon 2021
The Veritas Awards, now in its 26th year, is one of the oldest and most prestigious competitions in South Africa. As an annual wine calendar highlight, the “Oscars” of the wine industry’s gala ceremony hosted at the CTICC also marked the first in-person celebration since the three-year pause due to the pandemic.
“It’s a real honour to stand out in a crowd of over 1200 entries at this year’s Veritas Awards! It underlines our steadfast dedication to making exceptional wines. And let me tell you, with so much talent in one room at the gala, there’s no doubt in my mind: South African wine is definitely on the up and up!” shares Spier Cellar Master Johan Jordaan, our Cellar Master.
At the forefront of Spier’s achievements, year after year, stands the 21 Gables Chenin Blanc. The 2022 vintage has once again turned heads, earning a Veritas Double Gold and the title “Best of Show South Africa White in Retail Markets” at Mundus Vini 2023. It also scored 92 points in Tim Atkin’s 2023 South African Report. Originating from 37-year-old dryland vines, which at one point faced potential uprooting, this wine, with its distinguished terroir expression, has consistently been a top contender over the last decade.
Also sharing the podium is the Double Gold-winning Spier Seaward Chenin Blanc 2022. This wine celebrates the coastal Cape terroir, showcasing South Africa’s exceptional natural advantage. Sourced from vineyards in the Tygerberg Hills and Stellenbosch, just a stone’s throw from the Atlantic Ocean, it has secured several notable accolades this awards season, including Gold at the Global Chenin Masters 2023.
Not to be overshadowed, the Creative Block 5 2020 is a fellow Double Gold recipient. As part of the renowned Creative Block range, this wine epitomises Spier’s winemaking creativity with its white and red Rhône- and Bordeaux-style blends. Hand-harvested from 16 to 19-year-old vines in the Coastal regions of Groenekloof (Darling) and Stellenbosch, the Creative Block 5 matured in 300L French oak barrels for 18 months and brims with a vibrant, balanced palate.
The judging panel consisted of over 80 judges, including four international judges, namely Christine Austin (UK), Jonas Röjerman MW (Sweden), Joe Wadsack (UK) and Jo Wessels (Germany). The seven most hotly-contested categories in terms of entries received were: Red Blends (170), Sauvignon Blanc (141), Cabernet Sauvignon (109), Chardonnay (105), Shiraz (102), Chenin Blanc (97) and Pinotage (83).
As the 2023 awards season comes to a close, Johan reflects on Spier’s incredible winning streak: “We’re all smiles in the cellar! Recently, Tim Atkin awarded Medals of Excellence to ten Spier wines in the 2022 South Africa Special Report, while eight of our Spier wines brought home gold medals at the Mundus Vini Awards in March, including Best SA White Wine. These awards reaffirm to me that when it comes to wine, there are no shortcuts. They say great wine starts in the vineyard – but if you ask me, it’s even more granular than that, beginning with every grape. That’s why we’re putting our heart into regenerative farming practices – and reaping gold-winning fruit for it!”