The Old Mutual Wine Trophy
The Old Mutual Wine Trophy focuses on identifying the country’s top wines and making this information available to the South African and international wine drinking public.
Each year, the Old Mutual Wine Trophy Show receives entries from over 250 producers. Nine panellists, comprising 6 South African and 3 international experts, taste their way through more than 1 100 submissions. Evaluation procedures are meticulous, and no detail is overlooked to ensure wine tasting takes place under optimum conditions, from the temperature the wine is served at to the glassware used.
Tasters do not see the bottles or any identifiable packaging, ensuring that the outcome is based on the wine's perceived merits and not its name or reputation. The winning wine, in a particular class, must be unanimously agreed upon before it can be awarded a gold medal and proceed to the trophy judging round of the competition.
Prior to the announcement of the results the top wines are submitted to an independent laboratory to confirm that the show sample is identical to the wines that are available in the bottle store. The judging process and the competition results are monitored and independently audited, making The Old Mutual Wine Trophy one of the most stringent wine shows in South Africa.
The Old Mutual Wine Trophy also serves to groom a new generation of wine judges, by selecting up and coming winemakers and buyers to act as associate judges. Their feedback is taken into consideration in the medal selection process.
In 2009, only 25 wines were considered worthy of gold, an indication of the competitions’ exacting standards.