The guide’s descriptions and ratings, compiled in association with a team of leading experts, make it easy to find the right wine for any occasion, while the good-value indicators highlight those bottlings which are especially budget friendly across all quality levels.
Platter’s 2024 also packs extensive information on where to go and what to do in wine country. Winetasting options are covered in detail, along with many winery amenities, attractions and activities, plus dining and accommodation in Cape Town and the winelands. Easy-to-use maps and quick look-up tables provide invaluable help for visitors planning their own wineland rambles, while listings of specialised wine tour operators offer a variety of alternatives for those who prefer a guided experience.
Fully updated notes on the major winegrowing regions, grape varieties, winemaking styles, winetasting terms, and the major wine competitions and awards, as well as listings of wine educators country-wide form part of a wide-ranging offering.
As always, the guide is prefaced by an insightful and thought-provoking overview of important developments and trends in South Africa and the wider wine world.
A much-anticipated feature of the guide is the reveal of the cover colour. This year it is a stylish purple and gold combination, which the Platter’s team named “Refined Opulence”. The colour was chosen partly as an elegant counterpoint to last edition’s long-requested and well-received white cover, named “Elemental”.
A highlight of any new edition is the five star wines lineup – the exceptional bottlings which emerge from a second round of tasting of the wines with the highest rating on the Platter’s scale of 0 - 5 stars (“Somewhat less than ordinary” to “Superlative. A South African classic”). In this edition 226 wines, brandies and husk spirits receive five stars, equating to 95 or more on the 100-point international scale.
Of the 5-star-awarded wines, the highest scorers within each category receive the sought-after accolade, Wines of the Year. This time there are 31 category winning wines. Also noteworthy are 424 Highly Recommended wines, which narrowly miss five stars but are nonetheless extremely fine and collectable in their own right, earning a rating of 94 on the 100-point scale; 192 reds and whites showing particular potential for cellaring (these ageworthy wines appear under the banner “Buy Now, Drink Later”); 104 Hidden Gems, wines which tasters feel are particularly worthy of note, being interesting, attractive, unique or representative of an important trend; and 53 Superquaffers, exceptionally drinkable and well-priced wines.
The three prestigious Winery of the Year awards are the highest accolades bestowed by Platter’s. The Top Performing Winery of the Year goes to the winery that achieves the most five stars after the annual final tasting round. This year the recipient is Sadie Family Wines, Platter’s highest-achieving winery on three previous occasions, this time with seven maximum ratings.
The Editor’s Award Winery of the Year award recognises a winegrowing individual or team who, based on performance in the current edition as well as their track record, are ambassadors par excellence for South African wine. This year the award goes to Bosman Family Vineyards, for their achievements in winecrafting as well as outstanding contributions in the spheres of social empowerment, environmental care and development of the wine industry more broadly.
The Newcomer Winery of the Year is awarded to a producer who debuted in Platter’s this year and achieved the highest scores. The well-deserved recipient of this distinction is Edouard Labeye, with a stunning 94-point Grenache Blanc.
Platter’s 2024 hardcover is available from selected bookstores and retailers nationwide from early December 2023.
A subscription to the digital editions, namely the web-based version as well as the apps for Apple and Android devices, is available from www.wineonaplatter.com/products or the app stores (a single subscription unlocks all digital versions).