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29 November 2011

Johan Jordaan is Winemaker of the Year

The 2011 Diners Club Winemaker of the Year Awards were recently announced, with Johan Jordaan of Spier Wines bringing home the big award of the night.

Johan Jordaan, Spier Wines Johan Jordaan, 2011 Diners Club Winemaker of the Year

The winning wines in this year’s competition are both absolutely world-class. The fact that both are from the 2009 vintage confirms the excellence of that year for winemaking. It is probably our top vintage of the past 15 years. - Dave Hughes, chairman of the 2011 Diners Club Winemaker of the Year judging panel.

The 2011 Diners Club Winemaker of the Year Awards are eagerly awaited each year. This year’s winners were announced in Paarl on 26 November, at an event attended by the who’s who of the wine industry.

Winemaker of the Year 2011 went to Johan Jordaan of Spier Wines in Stellenbosch for his 2009 Spier Creative Block 5 Bordeaux-style blend. Each year entrants are judged on a different wine category with the focus this year being on Bourdeaux-style red blends. Jordaan’s entry was judged among 110 top South African wines. His Creative Block 5 wine is a Cabernet Sauvignon-led bled that includes Merlot, Petit, Verdot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. It was prounounced by the judges to be a beautifully balanced wine with just the great combinations of fruit, alcohol and tannins.

Jordaan has been creating wines since 2002 and was appointed to the position of senior winemaker at Spier in 2007.

Another highlight of the evening was the announcement of the Diners Club Young Winemaker of the Year for 2011. This year the award was won by Matthew van Heerden of Uva Mira Vineyards in the Helderberg, near Somerset West in the Western Cape. Van Heerden’s 2009 Uva Mira Chardonnay took top honours, a tribute to his passion for excellence and dedication to producing distinctive South African wines.

Dave Hughes, chairman of the judging panel said that this year the entries were of incredible quality. ‘The winning wines in this year’s competition are both absolutely world-class. The fact that both are from the 2009 vintage confirms the excellence of that year for winemaking. It is probably our top vintage of the past 15 years,’ he commented.

The judging panel consisted of top wine industry specialists. It included Vincent Lignac, a sixth-generation winemaker from St Emilion, who was this year's international judge.