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SOUTH AFRICA: Pinotage leads the way in South African wine awards

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Kaapzicht Steytler Pinotage 1999 walked away with the Champion Double Gold award at this year's growing South African fine wine competition, The Michelangelo International Wine Awards.just-drinks.com was privileged to be on the judging panel and the Kaapzicht wine is a testament to the growing quality of what many international industry followers believe to be the variety that can lead South Africa to the forefront of the world stage.Indeed, Pinotage wines scooped nine gold medals, more than any other variety, from the competition. The other varieties to show particularly strongly were Sauvignon Blanc (seven gold medals) and the Shiraz (seven gold medals).Of the 500 wines on display at the awards, the standard was generally high. However, as a snapshot of the state of the South African industry the competition revealed there is still plenty of work to be done in the vineyard if South Africa is to compete with rivals such as Chile and Australia.Too often the fruit in the wines was green and there was still a tendency to over-oak products to hide mistakes at the vineyard level. This was particularly true of the red blends.


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