‘Platter’s South African Wine Guide’ announces winners of Pinnacle Awards featured in its 2023 edition

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Plateau wine guide has revealed the winners of its coveted and esteemed Pinnacle Awards – Vineyards of the Year, Wines of the Year and Five Star Wines – which feature in its 2023 edition.

The announcement was made during the launch of the best-selling and collectible hardcover guide, featuring a striking cover design, the first featuring a predominantly white background with rose gold embellishments.

Platter’s 2023 Top Performing Winery of the Year award goes to Mullineux. Left to right, Esh Naidoo (Diners Club), Chris Andrea Mullineux, Philip van Zyl (Platter’s MD publisher). Photo:

Platter’s Newcomer Winery of the Year 2023 award goes to Trade Winds Wine. From left to right are Esh Naidoo (Diners Club) Colin Frith Jean Robin Voigt Philip van Zyl (Platter’s MD publisher).Foto:

Platter’s 2023 Editor’s Award Winery of the Year goes to Savage Wines. From left to right is Esh Naidoo (Diners Club) Duncan Savage Philip van Zyl (Platter’s MD editor). Photo:

The new hardcover was unveiled at a bespoke ceremony in Stellenbosch on Thursday, November 17, 2022. Platter’s digital version, available on apps for iOS/Apple and Android, and on the www.wineonaplatter.com website, was launched at the same event.

This 43rd edition of South Africa’s favorite wine guide features over 900 producers, traders and brands, including 37 new ones, and over 8,000 locally produced wines as well as brandies, pod spirits and sherry-style wines.

A highlight of any new edition is the trio of prestigious Winery of the Year awards, the highest accolades bestowed by Tray of. The Top Performing Winery of the Year is awarded to the winery with the highest number of five stars after the last annual tasting. This year, the worthy recipient is Mullineux, with an astonishing run of eight five-star results. This is the fifth time the stellar Swartland-based company has been Platter’s top performer, having been the top performing winery in 2014, 2016, 2019 and 2020.

The Editor’s Award Winery of the Year honors an individual or team of winemakers who, based on their performance in the current edition as well as their track record, are the quintessential ambassadors of South African wine. This year, the award goes to Cape Winemakers Guild member Duncan Savage and his Cape Town boutique winery, Savage Wines. Last year, Savage Wines earned seven outstanding five-star ratings. Five incredible such rankings this year have once again proven Savage’s consistency as a trailblazer and arguably one of Cape Town’s greatest winemakers.

The Newcomer Winery of the Year is awarded to the producer who makes his debut in Tray of this year and obtains the best scores. The well-deserved recipient of this accolade is Trade Winds Wine, owned by friends and long-time wine enthusiasts, Martin Voigt and Richard Wells, with a brilliant five-star Cabernet Sauvignon blended by Colin Frith, an honorary Cape Wine Master. and one of the most experienced men-in-the-vineyard.

Wines rewarded with the sought-after five-star rating in Tray of must undergo a rigorous process of on-sight and blind (i.e. with and without sight of the label) evaluation by a team of experienced experts. Bottlings deemed “superlative, a South African classic” receive the highest rating of five stars, equal to 95 points or better on the 100-point grading scale.

Among the wines awarded 5 stars, the best in each category receive the coveted distinction of Wines of the Year. This time there are 26 category winners.

With 28 five-star, Chenin Blanc continues its remarkable performance of the past few years and, in a significant evolution, not only now equals the number of five-star red blends, but also exceeds the maximum 21 ratings in the White Blends category.

Together, however, the mixed (red and white) class remains a quality powerhouse, responsible for a quarter of all five-star ratings.

Another category that builds on an improved base is Chardonnay, adding three ratings of 95+ to last year’s 19. The other good performers are Shiraz/Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, with 16 and 12 wines respectively.

The five-star range reflects many of the key trends shaping South African wine today, such as the revival and reinterpretation of traditional varieties, such as Cinsault and Sémillon, and the adoption of heat-tolerant varieties such as than Grenache Noir, red wines with lighter textures and less alcohol, clay and concrete vats as alternatives to oak for fermentation and/or ageing, and “deconstruction”, where different sites and even clones of the same variety are bottled separately.

“Another relatively recent development reflected in the ratings is the release of tiny special bottlings of an experimental nature,” says Philip van Zyl, Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of Tray of“sometimes literally a barrel, intended to explore a grape variety, a terroir and/or a viticultural technique, or sometimes simply to express the personality or the vision of the winegrowers.

“It’s always a pleasure to see new names make their debut in the guide at the highest level and established names earn their first five-star rating from Platter.

“South Africa continues to impress wine lovers and collectors around the world with its exceptional quality, as well as its diversity, character and interest. The fact that many of our guide’s featured wines are labeled as value-for-money is a huge plus for consumers in these tough economic times.

“We are delighted and very proud of our line-up and would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all of the producers on their remarkable achievement.”

Also worth noting are the 291 highly recommended wines and brandies, which narrowly missed five stars but are nonetheless extremely fine and collectible, scoring 94 on a 100-point scale.

Philip van Zyl continues: “The guide’s descriptions and ratings, compiled in association with a leading team of experts, make it easy to find the right wine for any occasion, while the value-for-money indicators highlight particularly economical traffic jams in all areas. quality levels.

“Red and white wines with aging potential are marked with the Cellar Worthy icon, while wines that tasters find particularly noteworthy, interesting, appealing, unique, or representative of an important trend are highlighted with the Hidden Gems icon.

“This edition, we are very pleased to reintroduce Superquaffers, wines that we believe are exceptionally drinkable and affordable. These ultra-affordable and easy-to-drink bottlings are identified by the smiley face icon. »

Platter’s 2023 also has detailed information on where to go and what to do in wine country. Winery door tasting options are covered in detail, along with numerous winery amenities, attractions and activities, as well as restaurants and accommodations in Cape Town and the wineries. Easy-to-use maps and quick-reference charts offer invaluable help for visitors planning their own wine tours, while listings from specialist wine tour operators offer a variety of alternatives for those who prefer a guided experience .

Fully updated notes on major wine regions, varietals, winemaking styles, tasting conditions, and major wine competitions and awards, plus lists of wine educators nationwide are part of a extended offer.

As always, the guide is preceded by an insightful and thought-provoking overview of important developments and trends in South Africa and the wider wine world.

Tray of The 2023 hardcover is available from selected bookstores and retailers nationwide from late November 2022. The recommended retail price is R399.00 including VAT.

To view the five-star wine list online, visit www.wineonaplatter.com/blog/news

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