The Vitis Vinifera Awards recognise quality wines and grape derived spirits that are available to the majority of consumers. Most other competitions focus on aspirational products in the ultra-premium segment of the market, which tends to enhance the perception that good products are out of reach of the average consumer.

This in turn leads to the misconception that appreciating wine and grape based spirits is an elitist matter, reserved for a small group of connoisseurs who are able to describe subtle flavours in obscure language.


Many fine wines and spirits are produced across a range of taste spectra and price points. With the Vitis Vinifera Awards, we aim to commend wines and spirits of quality and we achieve this by conferring awards on superior products across various price categories, in order to make them available to consumers on more shelves across the globe.

Wines are tasted blind by a group of consumers.

Red wine flights will alternate with white wine flights where possible in order to prevent tannin build-up. No more than 10 products of a particular class will be tasted consecutively where possible to prevent flavour saturation.

Judging Methodology

All panellists will be lovers of grape derived products such as wine and spirits. These are the very same members of the public who will be spending their time and money in the winelands whenever they can, and they will be spending it most often on wine and spirits.



Panels will be comprised of experienced consumers who have a passion for wine and grape derived products.

Gender and
age equity

We are sensitive to gender and age equity in our judging roster, therefore we try to staff each panel with a diverse group of judges from various professions and experience levels.

Three judge

Each flight is designed to ideally have 10 products of the same class

The Stickers

Winning products will be awarded Gold and Double Gold awards, and the Top 10 producers will be able to add the Top 10 Producer sticker to their entries as well.

Here are some of our partners making this event a success


1 Perlé or Slightly Sparkling Wine Any sugar level
2 Sparkling Wine (Non-MCC) RS<=15 g/L
3 Perlé or Slightly Sparkling Wine RS>15 g/L
4 Méthode Cap Classique (MCC)
5 Bukettraube
6 Chenin blanc RS<=10 g/L
7 Chenin blanc RS>10 g/L
8 Colombar RS<=10 g/L
9 Colombar RS>10 g/L
10 Chardonnay RS<=10 g/L
11 Chardonnay RS>10 g/L
12 Pinot Gris
13 Weisser Riesling (Rhine Riesling)
14 Sauvignon blanc RS<=10 g/L
15 Sauvignon blanc RS>10 g/L
16 Viognier RS<=10 g/L
17 Other Single White Varietal RS<=10 g/L
18 Other Single White Varietal RS>10 g/L
19 White Blend RS<=10 g/L
20 White Blend RS>10 g/L
21 Blanc de Noir and Rosé RS<=10 g/L
22 Blanc de Noir and Rosé RS>10 g/L
23 Low-Alcohol Wine Alc<10%
24 Cabernet Franc RS<=10 g/L
25 Cabernet Sauvignon RS<=10 g/L
26 Malbec RS<=10 g/L
27 Merlot RS<=10 g/L
28 Mourvèdre RS<=10 g/L
29 Petit Verdot RS<=10 g/L
30 Pinot Noir RS<=10 g/L
31 Pinotage RS<=10 g/L
32 Shiraz RS<=10 g/L
33 Other Single Red Varietal RS<=10 g/L
34 Bordeaux-Style Red May only contain the five Bordeaux varietals;
RS<=10 g/L
35 Cape Blend At least 30% Pinotage but no more than 70%;
RS<=10 g/L
36 Other Red Blend RS<=10 g/L
37 Sweet Red RS>10 g/L
38 Natural Sweet Wine Any sugar level
39 Special Late Harvest RS>50 g/L
40 Noble Late Harvest Any sugar level
41 Straw Wine Any sugar level
42 Cape Ruby Port
43 Cape Tawny Port
44 Cape Vintage Port
45 Cape Late-Bottled Vintage Port
46 Other Port
47 White Jeripigo
48 Red Jeripigo
49 White Muscadel
50 Red Muscadel
51 Fino Sherry
52 Oloroso Sherry
53 Cream Sherry
54 Brandy Non-Vintage/Age Not Defined
55 Brandy 3–8 years
56 Brandy 9–12 years
57 Brandy 13–20 years
58 Flavoured Brandy made from grape spirit
59 Vodka/Witblits – unflavoured
60 Flavoured Vodka
61 Grappa (Marc) Unflavoured
62 Vodka/Witblits made from grape spirit
63 Gin using grape based spirit exclusively
64 Grappa infused with other flavours
65 London Dry Gin
66 Plymouth Style Gin
67 New Style Gin
68 Gin Other
69 White Vermouth White wine blended with spices
70 Red Vermouth Red wine blended with spices
71 Flavoured White Wine Still
72 Flavoured Red Wine Still
73 Sparkling Flavoured White Wine
74 Sparkling Flavoured Red Wine


Timeline and dates for 2020:2020-07-20T14:39:13+02:00
Competition opens: 15th April 2020

Early bird cut-off:

Cut-off date for normal entries:
Cut-off date for late entries:

29 September 2020

20 October
27 October 2020

Delivery of samples: 2nd and 3rd of November 2020 (Monday and Tuesday)
Results released: 9 November 2020
How much does it cost to enter a product?2020-07-21T11:09:28+02:00
The Vitis Vinifera Awards is one of the most affordable competitions.

Early bird entries done by 29 September 2020 are R750 excluding VAT per entry.

Entries that are done after the early bird special closed are R975 excluding VAT per entry if done by 20 October 2020.

Late entries will be charged R1170 excluding VAT if done after 20 October 2020, but by 27 October 2020.

Gold, Double Gold and Top 10 producer stickers will be available at R375 excl VAT per 1000.

Do I get a certificate if my wine has won an award?2020-02-12T21:52:57+02:00

An electronic certificate will be sent by email to the winners. If the exact same product is sold under different brand names, you can request a certificate for each brand at no extra cost.

When will the winners be announced?2020-07-20T14:40:32+02:00

Results will be emailed to entrants on or before 9th November 2020 to notify them. The entrants can utilise the stickers and competition artwork to maximise exposure on various social media fronts and for their existing client base, but must display them together with the name(s) of the product and vintage if applicable, that earned this accolade. Stickers will focus attention on the award-winning products, leading to higher visibility and a boost in sales.

When will the stickers be available?2020-07-20T14:50:53+02:00

We will endeavour to have the stickers ready for collection approximately 2 weeks after the results are announced. The stickers have to be paid for prior to collection, unless other arrangements are made with the organisers.

Do I have to order stickers?2020-02-12T21:51:32+02:00

You’re not obligated to order stickers; if you do not want any, indicate the number on the entry form as 0 (zero). Once the results have been revealed, you have to take the number of stickers you indicated. Stickers will be available approximately two weeks after the winners have been notified.

What happens to the samples that is left over after tasting?2020-02-12T21:51:02+02:00

Any remaining samples at the end of the judging process becomes the property of Vitis Vinifera Awards.

Will the tastings be audited?2020-02-12T21:50:19+02:00

The tasting procedure will be audited by a reputable auditing firm to ensure the judges are not influenced and the tasting is done blind and conforms to international standards.

Competition Rules2020-07-20T14:47:35+02:00
  1. Spirits have to be 100% grape based to qualify for entry.
  2. Submission of samples and/or payment of entry fees constitutes acceptance of all the rules.
  3. Tank samples will not be accepted as entries into the competition.
  4. All wines from outside South Africa do not need a WSR2 or WSR4 certificate. All non-flavoured wines from South Africa must be accompanied by a SAWIS (South African Wine Industry Information & Systems – www.sawis.co.za) application number, and the stickers awarded may only be applied to the wine attached to the application number. If a certain wine has more than one application number, the wines must be entered separately.
  5. Each non-flavoured wine from South Africa has to have a current WSR2 or WSR4 certificate showing that the wine was approved on the strength of taste and analysis by SAWIS, or a Department of Agriculture Wine-on-Line screen capture printout to show the wine has a current tasting date. This certificate must be current (i.e. the wine must have been tasted and approved by the board no more than one year before the first day of delivery in the case of a white wine and 18 months in the case of a red wine). A sample will not be accepted without this certificate. No refunds will be paid if the WSR2 or WSR4 certificate is not current.
  6. Each category will be determined by the product information on the label.
  7. There is no minimum stock quantity needed to enter a product.
  8. There is no limit to the number of entries per producer. However, each flavoured wine or spirit may only be entered once into the competition (even if it is under a different label), and any participant may enter more than one wine, flavoured wine or spirit in a class. Examples are wineries that produce several wines of the same varietal type but with different vineyard designations or vintages.
  9. A wine that has not been certified as a cultivar wine, although it may be one, may be entered into a blended category.
  10. A product that received an award in a previous year’s competition may be entered again.
  11. Entries and registration will be accepted online from the start of the competition until midnight on the last day. Proof of payment must be emailed to support@vitisawards.com before midnight on the closing date for entries to be accepted.
  12. Invoices for entries must be printed online by the participant, and paid before the final close of entries.
  13. A wine sample must comprise three 750ml bottles, or the volumetric equivalent thereof and a flavoured wine or spirit sample two 750ml bottles, or the volumetric equivalent thereof.
  14. The samples must be delivered to the drop-off point in Stellenbosch, South Africa between 9:00 and 16:00 on the two days allocated to be accepted into the competition.
  15. Winners will be notified by email, and stickers will be available for collection about two weeks later. Proof of payment of both the entries and stickers is needed before stickers can be collected. Gold, Double Gold and Top 10 Producer stickers cost R375 excl VAT per 1000, and come in multiples of 1000 and 2000.
  16. Quantities of stickers ordered that are not multiples of 1000 will be rounded up and invoiced as such.
  17. By entering the competition, the entrant commits to paying for the number of stickers indicated before the required deadline (11:00 Wednesday 11th November 2020) for the products that receive awards.
  18. The winners of the Top 10 Producer Award may put this sticker on all wines entered. The producer may only use the Gold and Double Gold stickers awarded on the particular product that was entered and won the award. Stickers may not be put onto another batch of product similar to the one entered, that did not win an award in this year’s competition. Participants must always market their winning products in conjunction with the year of the competition the product won the award.
  19. The competition logo or stickers may not be displayed on their own for purposes of marketing, but must be accompanied by the details of the particular product that won, or may be photographed on the product that won the award.
  20. Any samples remaining at the conclusion of the judging become the property of the competition.
  21. The judging process will be entirely confidential and no details will be released concerning the judging process and reasoning. No feedback of any nature will be given.
  22. The decision of the judges is final and no changes will be made to awards after the judging process is complete. In the event of a dispute, this competition’s decision will be final.
  23. No refund of entry fees will be made.
  24. By entering the competition, the entrant states that the information provided is factually and legally correct.
  25. If a participant does not follow all the rules of the competition or legal requirements as required by SAWIS for South African wine, the competition has the right to disqualify the particular entry concerned or the entire year’s entries, or ban the producer from the competition.
  26. The Awards Show (Pty) Ltd will not make available a list of all the producers that took part in the competition, or reveal the scores assigned to any product, or make available the details of products that were not awarded. It remains the prerogative of The Awards Show (Pty) Ltd to publish results of awarded products as they see fit.
  27. Entries will only be accepted in English.
  28. Entries must be completed in full, and entries that were not completed in full could be declared void.
  29. Employees of the competition and their immediate family are not allowed to enter the competition.
  30. If an entrant does not comply with the rules of the competition, their entries may be cancelled.
  31. The producer whose product is entered must be fully aware of the submission, and must grant the person entering the competition the right to enter the product and order stickers. If this is not found to be the case, the person entering the competition will be liable for any financial commitment made.
  32. In the event that for any reason possible the judging cannot take place, or entrants cannot be given results, half of the entrants’ entry fee will be refunded, and no other damages will be awarded to the competition, or any of the companies involved.
  33. For any claim to be made against The Awards Show (Pty) Ltd for defective stickers, the stickers must be returned to Postnet at Stellenbosch, South Africa within 7 days after the date of delivery to Postnet. The Awards Show (Pty) Ltd will within its discretion either replace or pass a credit for defective stickers so proven, but shall not be liable for any direct, indirect, or any other loss, including loss to third parties and legal expenses, arising out of errors in providing stickers, or by delay in delivery, or by unsuitability of goods for use intended.
  34. This competition cannot be held liable for any damage incurred to stickers once the stickers have been accepted by the client or by a third party transportation company.
  35. This competition can change the rules of the competition without notice, and publish them on the website without giving notice to entrants. If the entrant does not want to comply with the new rules of the competition, they can cancel their entries up to the date entries close. After this time, entrants have to comply with the rules of the competition.

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Sanet van Heerden



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