South Africa is blessed with an abundance of world-class wineries which produce award winning wines – often the best of their kind globally. Many wine estates become synonymous with a particular cultivar, producing much-anticipated vintages of the same wine year after year.
One South African wine estate is bucking this trend of focusing on a niche selection of wines and is producing a diverse range that continues to rake in the awards, both locally and internationally.
Groot Constantia, South Africa’s oldest wine estate that has been producing wine uninterrupted for 332 years this year, produces 13 different kinds of wines in the red, white and sweet wine categories which have collectively won over 100 awards in the past 10 years alone.
Floricius Beukes, Viticulturist and Estate Manage for Groot Constantia says that the estate is blessed with diverse vineyard sites which accommodate the production of a diverse range of wines.
“Close to 40% of our vineyard grows on north-eastern facing slopes – warmer slopes in a cool area, with more than enough sunlight that contributes to the success of our red wines. On the other hand, lots of south and south-east facing slopes overlooking the water mass of False Bay are responsible for the crisp freshness that stands out in our Sauvignon Blank wines. Coupled with this is our very well trained vineyard team that work long hours to contribute to our success story.”
Most recently, the South African Wine Index (SAWi) announced the winners of its annual Grand Wines Collection awards, naming the best wines in South Africa and seven of Groot Constantia’s wines achieved Platinum awards – a distinctive accolade considering these different cultivars all achieved 93 points or higher, calculated over a 10 year period. Two of the Groot Constantia wines achieved a perfect score of 100, with four of the wines being ranked in the top 10 in their category for South Africa.
Grant Newton, Marketing Manager for Groot Constantia explains that wines scoring 93 or above are considered part of the “Grand Wines Collection” and Groot Constantia has seven wines on this list – having competed against 585 wineries and more than 6000 wines.
“The SAWi awards are all about consistency and for Groot Constantia to have seven wines awarded platinum is a phenomenal achievement, especially because it is across so many different cultivars. This shows that we are not a one wine winery,” says Newton. “Groot Constantia can not be seen to be a red wine or white wine or sweet wine producer exclusively – but we are rather excelling at the production of a wide variety of cultivars over a long term period.”
Jean Naudé, General Manager of Groot Constantia says that over the years a lot of effort has gone into establishing the right varietals in the appropriate terroir on Groot Constantia. This was followed by close monitoring and fine tuning on an annual basis.
“These awards are a wonderful accolade for Groot Constantia as South Africa’s heritage wine estate,” says Naudé. “The hard work of our team is clearly continuing to pay off and it is great to receive acknowledgement for all the effort that has gone into the vineyards over the years, and continues to go into the Groot Constantia vineyards.”
Groot Constantia SAWi Awards 2017 summarised:
• Groot Constantia Estate Chardonnay – scored 100.00 and ranked 16thth best wine in the country, and the 4th best Chardonnay;
• Groot Constantia Estate Sauvignon Blanc scored 96.12 and was ranked as the 6th best Sauvignon Blanc in the country;
• Groot Constantia Gouverneurs Reserve White scored 93.00;
• Groot Constantia Estate Shiraz scored100.00 and was as the ranked 3rd best Shiraz in the country;
• Groot Constantia Estate Gouverneurs Reserve Red scored 97.10 and was ranked 7th in the country;
• Groot Constantia Estate Pinotage scored 97.55 and was ranked 14th best Pinotage in the country;
• Groot Constantia Estate Merlot scored 93.42 and was ranked as the10th best Merlot in the country.