SA winemaker named best in the world

Kanonkop winemaker Abrie Beeslaar was voted the international winemaker of the year for 2008 at the International Wine and Spirits Competition’s (IWSC) gala award ceremony in London.

“To be awarded this accolade as the world’s best winemaker for the year is an honour one never even dreams about, so the award has simply not sunk in yet,” Beeslaar said after the ceremony on Monday night.

The IWSC is the world’s leading wine and spirits competition with more than 5 500 entries received from about 50 countries.

Apart from the Wolf Blass Trophy awarded for the international winemaker of the year, Kanonkop also received the Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande trophy for the best blended red wine with its Paul Sauer 2003, as well as the Dave Hughes Trophy for the best South African producer.

Beeslaar said 2008 had been a historic year for Kanonkop and it was an honour to have been able to share in the winery’s successes.

“But I do know that the success belongs to the whole team working in the cellar and vineyards, as well as those who promote our wines throughout the world.
But nothing equals the importance of nature with which we are blessed on Kanonkop.”

Beeslaar said the award symbolised South Africa’s potential to compete with the best wine producing countries in the world.

“This is the third time that the award has gone to a South African winemaker and should once more prove that our wines are at home with the best in the world.”

Beeslaar’s award came at the end of an outstanding year for Kanonkop. It was the first wine farm to receive the Château Pichon Langueville Comtesse de Lalande trophy for a third time.

Kanonkop was also recently named wine producer of the year by the Platter South African Wine Guide. - Sapa

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