The recent Paarl Wine Challenge, which showcases the quality and terrior of the region, has awarded both Babylonstoren and Boland Cellar with trophies for top red and top white respectively.
According to Annelize Stroebel, general manager of the Drakenstein Local Tourism Association, which incorporates the Paarl Wine Route, they were pleased with the significant increase in the number of entries and the positive feedback received from the panel of judges: "All our top twelve wines were gold medal winners, which makes us very excited about the quality of wine produced under the Wine of Origin Paarl appellation. We would like to thank all the participating producers as well as our sponsors Multi-Colour Corporation for the continued support that enables us to host a competition of this format and nature."
Charles Hopkins convened the panel of judges, which included Winnie Bowman, Altus le Roux, Jean-Mari de Villiers as well as Christo Pienaar and specifically commented on the unique diversity of the wines the panel tasted. The eligible categories included Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Other White Cultivars, White Blends, Pinotage, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Other Red Cultivars and Red Blends. "It was evident what a difference 20km radius can make and how specific soils can influence the wine produced," said Hopkins.
Babylonstoren was awarded for its 2016 Nebukadneser Bordeaux blend. Winemaker Klaas Stoffberg was pleased with this result, specifically since Babylonstoren is a fairly young producer. "We only started making wine in 2011 and this is a great way to measure ourselves against the adjacent farms. We feel it is important to enter a regional competition such as Paarl Wine Challenge and it is obviously a great achievement for the team."
Boland Cellar added another trophy to its trophy case for its One Formation white blend. Winemaker Handré Barkhuysen was honoured by the accolade as their philosophy encompasses leaving the terroir and vineyards to express themselves through the wine with a reductive approach in the cellar and a strong focus on blending aspects.
The top twelve entries were:
• Babylonstoren Nebukadneser 2016
• Babylonstoren Shiraz 2016
• Boland Cellar One Formation 2018
• Brahms Shiraz 2010
• Glen Carlou The Curator's Collection Malbec 2017
• KWV The Mentor Chenin Blanc 2017
• Mitre’s Edge Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
• Perdeberg The Dry Land Collection Resolve Pinotage 2015
• Perdeberg The Vineyard Collection Cinsault 2017
• Perdeberg The Dry Land Collection Courageous Barrel Fermented Chenin Blanc 2017
• Under Oaks Just B 2015
The Paarl Wine Challenge was hosted in the KWV Cathedral Cellar, which celebrated its 100th centenary this year.