The Winemaker and Young Winemaker awards, focusing on quality and recognition of excellence, are regarded as one of the country’s most prestigious and well-respected wine industry competitions. Celebrating the skills and talent of the vintners, these awards are open to all in the South African wine industry at no cost, thus affording all winemakers an equal opportunity.
The Winemaker of the Year is in its 42nd year, while the Young Winemaker has been running for 22 years.
The awards are presented to the winemakers who produce a wine that the judging panel considers the best in a specified class. The categories for 2022 were Sauvignon Blanc for Winemaker of the Year, and Red Wines of any varietal or blend for Young Winemaker of the Year.
The field was narrowed down to twelve finalists through rigorous judging by a panel of wine experts: with six winemakers shortlisted for the prestigious Winemaker of the Year award, and six for the Young Winemaker of the Year title.
This year’s Diners Club Winemaker of the Year (Sauvignon Blanc), Conrad Vlok, delighted the judges with his 2021 Strandveld Poffaderbos Sauvignon Blanc. The 2022 Diners Club Young Winemaker of the Year, Jerome van Rooi, received his award (Red Wines category) for the 2020 Cederberg Five Generations Cabernet Sauvignon.