A wine competition driven by the consumer
The philosophy behind the competition was conceived and thought through for more than a decade, in conversations with wine makers, brand owners, the trade and wine buyers.
Vitis Vinifera Awards aims to commend more good wines, where normally the focus is primarily on the exclusive, elusive top-echelon wines.
More usable awards will lead to an increase in sales – giving producers a better return on their investment, considering that entering competitions essentially is an important business proposition.
Wines are tasted blind by a group of consumers.
Wines will receive scores based on the recognised 20-point scale, with the outstanding wines receiving Double Gold and Gold awards.
All panellists will be wine lovers, the exact members of the public who will spend their time and money in the Winelands whenever they can, and spend it most often on wine.
Each judge possesses at least a Cape Wine Academy certificate, or a similar qualification.
We try to staff each panel with judges who have professional diversity and experience.
And each flight is also designed to ideally have 10 wines of the same class
Judges may ask for a new bottle to be poured if they believe a wine to be faulty or corked. A wine will be disqualified if the second bottle is found to be faulty or corked. Entries will be judged in the category they have been entered into. Entries will be judged randomly but in order of vintage.
The panel chair will assign a different tasting order to each judge (e.g. from low numbers to high or vice versa) in order to minimise the shadow effect within a flight. Tasters will judge each wine on an overall basis. Wines will be presented to judges in numbered glasses. No wine bottles will be visible to judges at any time until the competition is finished. The judges will have no knowledge of the identity of the wines, except for vintage and varietal type, where appropriate.
Staff members will be instructed to avoid discussing any wine brand names entered or not entered into the competition. This process of judging is referred to as double blind and uses concepts found in Wines: Their Sensory Evaluation by Amerine and Roessler (1983), and aims to avoid some problems often associated with blind tasting.
The pouring area will be totally off-limits to the judges. Flights are structured so no panellist has to judge only one type of wine during the tasting event. Panels will typically be expected to judge around 90 wines per day, rarely more. There will be a 20-minute mid-morning break given to the judges where tea, coffee and sandwiches will be provided.
Wines will be awarded Gold and Double Gold.
Specialist wine shops or top-end restaurants employ sommeliers or wine experts, but there are many wine outlets and eateries where consumers have no access to expert advice on the quality of wine that is in the bottle – we aim to remedy this.
There will be no silver or bronze awards, because these are largely considered irrelevant. Many producers enter wines they are confident about in competitions, and are then disappointed in the very limited number of top-scoring wines awarded Gold or Double Gold.
Often, producers will not display bronze or even silver stickers won in a competition. Vitis Vinifera Awards will not on principle limit the number of wines that can achieve Gold or Double Gold status.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs) and other helpful information
Vitis Vinifera Awards is one of the most affordable competitions in the country. Entering costs R650 excl VAT per wine. Gold and Double Gold stickers will be available at R330 excl VAT per 1 000. Three bottles of each wine entered should be delivered to Vitis Vinifera Awards on 4 and 5 September 2017.
An issue more relevant than the cost to enter a wine in this competition is the return on investment producers are likely to enjoy by entering. Since the principle of Vitis Vinifera Awards is to award more wines with Gold and Double Gold than any other competition, producers should be asking the question whether they can afford not to submit their wines for tasting by our panels. Many wines will bear Vitis Vinifera Awards stickers on shelves both locally and internationally. Consumers worldwide are likely to be influenced in their choice of product by our unique glossy awards. On international shelves this may even influence consumers to choose South African wines displaying awards above wines from another origin that may display no competition credentials.
An electronic certificate for each wine that has won an award will be emailed to the winners.
The winners will be announced on 11 September to winners via an email that will go out to all the winners to notify them. The producer can utilise the stickers and Vitis Vinifera Awards artwork to maximise exposure on various social media fronts and to their existing client base, but must display them together with the name(s) of the wine(s) that earned this accolade.
The stickers will be available for collection from about 2 October. The stickers have to be paid for prior to collection, unless other arrangements are made with the organisers.
You are not obligated to order stickers, but if you indicate that you do need stickers you have to take them when the winners are announced, as set out in the rules of the competition.
Any remaining wine at the end of the judging process becomes the property of Vitis Vinifera Awards.
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.
1. Submission of entries online by the cut-off date for entries constitutes acceptance of all the rules and entry fees will have to be paid for these entries. Entries can be deleted before the cut-off time if necessary, but not afterwards.
2. Tank samples will not be accepted as entries into the competition.
3. Uncertified wine may not be entered into the competition.
4. All wine 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 wine has to have a current WSR2 or WSR4 certificate showing that the wine was approved on the strength of taste and analysis by SAWIS. This certificate must be current (i.e. the wine must have been tasted and approved by the board no later than one year before in the case of a white wine and 18 months in the case of a red wine). A current WSR2 or WSR4 certificate must accompany every sample, and 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 wine’s category will be determined by the information on the label.
7. There is no minimum quantity needed to enter a wine.
8. There is no limit to the number of entries per producer. Whereas each wine may only be entered once into the competition (even if it is under a different label), any participant may enter more than one wine 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 wine that received an Award in a previous year’s competition may be entered again.
11. Entries and registration will be accepted online from 23 May 2017 up to midnight on 29 August 2017. Proof of payment must be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org before midnight on the closing date for entries to be accepted.
12. For wines in 750 ml bottles, a sample has to comprise three bottles per entry. For wines in containers bigger than 750 ml, a sample has to comprise two units. For wines in containers smaller than 750 ml, a sample has to comprise four units. For brandy, a minimum number of two bottles is required for entry.
13. The wine must be delivered to the drop-off point between 9am and 4pm on the 4th or 5th of September 2017 to be accepted into the competition.
14. Invoices for entries must be printed online by the participant, and paid before the final close of entries.
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 (R650 excl VAT per entry) and stickers is needed before stickers can be collected. Stickers cost R330 excl VAT per 1 000, and come in multiples of 1 000.
16. Quantities of stickers ordered that are not multiples of 1 000 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 for the wines that receive awards. The producer may only use the stickers awarded on the particular wine that was entered and won the award. Stickers may not be put onto another batch of wine similar to the one entered, that did not win an award in this year’s competition.Participants must always market their winning wines in conjunction with the year of the competition the wine won the award.
18. The competition logo or stickers may not be displayed on their own for purposes of marketing, but must be accompanied either by the name and vintage of the particular wine that won, or may be photographed on the wine that won the award.
19. Any wine remaining at the conclusion of the judging becomes the property of the competition.
20. 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.
21. 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.
22. No refund of entry fees will be made.
23. By entering the competition, the entrant states that the information provided is factually and legally correct.
24. If a participant does not follow all the rules of the competition or legal requirements as required by SAWIS, the competition has the right to disqualify the particular entry concerned or the entire year’s entries, or ban the producer from the competition.
25. For confidentiality purposes, only a list of the top wineries will be made public, and not a list of all the wineries that took part in the competition or the score assigned to any wine.
26. Entries will only be accepted in English.
27. Entries must be completed in full, and entries that were not completed in full can be declared void.
28. Employees of the competition or their immediate family are not allowed to enter the competition.
29. This competition can change the rules 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 they may withdraw their entry.
30. If an entrant does not comply with the rules their entries will at the discretion of the competition, be cancelled.
31. The producer whose wine is entered must be fully aware of the submission, and must grant the person entering the award the right to enter wines and order stickers. If this is not found to be the case the person entering the competition will be liable for the financial commitment made.
Mariana Linde (email@example.com) Tel 079 136 9139 — General Competition Enquiries And Administration
Or use the form below:
When you enter the main gate at Nietvoorbij, go through the security boom and drive up the road all the way until you reach the white walls at the top. You then turn left towards the Experimental Cellar and drive past the stairs on the right. Keep driving around the building, and to the right you will see the entrance to the back door of the cellar where the wine must be delivered.
Michelle’s contact details are firstname.lastname@example.org, 021 889 8844 or 082 773 0738.
The address for the purpose of courier services is:
Nietvoorbij Experimental Cellar, Care of Cape Wine Academy, Nietvoorbij, Klapmuts Road (R44), Stellenbosch; Attention: Michelle.
© Vitis Awards