Veritas Judging 2021

Some of South Africa’s most experienced palates are at Nederburg in Paarl this week to judge this year’s entries for the Veritas Awards.

It is seen as one of the most important weeks of wine and brandy judging on the South African wine calendar, as Veritas is the oldest and most respected wine show for bottled, market-ready wines since its inception in 1991.

The group of highly experienced local judges are meeting at the Nederburg Auction Complex to select the best entries to receive the sought-after Veritas medals and identify the Vertex Award winner as the top wine overall. This award has now been named the Duimpie Bayly Vertex Award in honour of the late Mr Bayly, a legend and champion of the industry who passed away a month ago.

The wines and brandies are being tasted over five days until Friday 17 September. The seven most keenly contested categories in terms of entries received are: Red Blends (161), Sauvignon Blanc (150), Cabernet Sauvignon (107), Shiraz (106), Chenin Blanc (105), Chardonnay (94) and Pinotage (84).

The judging process will this year again, like last year, be held under strict Covid-19 protocols, implementing the world-leading sanitation systems to judge wines that were developed by Veritas last year specifically for wine judging under the safest conditions possible.

The Veritas Awards judging takes wine competition sanitation standards to a new level by employing advanced ultra-violet and ozone air-and-surface sanitation techniques – in addition to applying comprehensive, specially formulated, protocols to ensure the most Covid-19-safe environment possible for the judges and personnel involved. This  was developed last year after collaboration with Tharo Wine, a Stellenbosch-based cooperage and sanitation service specialist with its remarkable UV-related Uvozone system.

The local team of judges comprises various winemakers, researchers, academics, Cape Wine Masters, wine buyers, wine writers and consultants. The Cape Wine Masters continue to play an important role as independent judges at Veritas, with no less than 10 CWMs judging over the five days.