Heidi Kritzinger is officially the best blind wine taster in 2016 

The national Finals of the South Africa Wine Tasting Championship took place at the Taj Hotel Cape Town on Sunday the 21st of August 2016. Competitors qualified through the provincial championship in Johannesburg and Cape Town.

At the finals, the 16 best national candidates had to identify 12 wines of the world served to them blind. Finalists could gain points with the vintage, country, cultivar, origin and the name of the producer. Wines were poured every ten minutes in conditions similar to those faced by team South Africa at the World Championship. Some of the wines were imported specially for the competition, making it even more difficult for the competitors.

At this blind tasting game, women are displaying great talent, making 8 positions out of the top ten ranking position. 

The 2016 National champion is Heidi Kritzinger (working at Kanonkop wine Estate) followed by Stephanie Wiid (Working at Fairview) and Dean Ehrlich (Attorney in Johannesburg) are making the podium. The runners up, Anita Streicher-Nel (working at Morgenhof, ranked 4th), Lerato Moleleki (working for Avondale in Gauteng ranked 5th) and Jeanri-Tine van Zyl (Working for Feed-that-bird, ranked 6th) will form the base for the selection of Team South Africa 2016 to travel to France on the 8th of October 2016.

The top ten ranking is completed by Gosia Podgorska (Fairview) Kristen Duff (Backsberg), Samarie Smith (Media 24), and Chris Groenewald (Hawk + Schoon) .

After years of sommeliers dominated podiums, it is interesting to see wine marketers back on the top, and winemakers winning medals. Stephanie Wiid from Fairview is only the second winemaker to qualify for Team South Africa since Anton Swarts in 2013.

The Team South Africa 2016 will soon be confirmed to start training together to be ready to fly to the World Blind Tasting Challenge in Provence (France). This world blind tasting championship is organized by La Revue du Vin de France, the oldest wine magazine in the world, publishing since 1927. It is the fourth year that South Africa has qualified for this world competition where 24 countries will be facing each other to overthrow the Spanish team who is the current World Champion.

Team South Africa will train on foreign wines, and has been offered a exciting allocation by online retailer Port2Port, one of team South Africa's supporters. Team South Africa will launch a fundraising campaign aimed at the wine industry in order to finance this beautiful story of genuine wine lovers.

WINE.CO.ZA already confirmed their renewed commitment to Team South Africa as Media Partner, and supporters like TAJ Hotel, Port2Portand Speidel Tank are behind the Team which will make this collective dream be an international success. 

The wines were served blind were:

1 New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc 2014 Waipara Hills

2 Serbia Pinot Blanc 2014 Zvonko Bogdan

3 South Africa Chardonnay 2013Ataraxia

4 France Sancerre (Sauvignon blanc) 2015 Thomas-Ridon

5 Germany Riesling Mosel Kabinet 2007 JJ Prüm

6 Portugal Moscatel de Setubal 2011Bacalhoa

7 France Lalande de Pomerol (Merlot/Cabernet Franc)2012 Château Vieux Cardinal Lafaurie

8 Italy Chianti (Sangiovese) 2014 Masi

9 Argentina Malbec 2013 Alma Mora 

10 USA Zinfandel 2013 Geyser Peak

11 France Saint Joseph (Syrah) 2012 Cave de Tain

12 Spain Rioja (Tempranillo) 2012 ViñaPomal

Wine tasting is a gift. The SAWTC is calling for talents around the country. Who will be our best South African wine tasters this year? 
A small percentage of the population has a predisposition and enjoys a very accurate palate memory! These talents, once recognised and trained they can be the Robert Parker, or the Jancis Robinson of tomorrow. 

The Concept

The South African Wine Tasting Championship is a public event calling for all talents to test their abilities at tasting wines. Wine lovers will finally be the center of a wine event.

The SAWTC will aim at two goals:

-  Recognise and Award the Top Wine tasters in South Africa

-   Select Team South Africa going to the World Blind Tasting Challenge

In the spirit of ongoing education, and in an attempt to encourage new converts into the closed circle that is the wine world, the SAWTC offers all wine lovers the chance to put their talents to the test. .

Calendar 2016


Our Twitter account is @SAWineChamp

The World Championship took place on the 8th of October 2016, in Provence in France. South Africa ranked 6th nation of the world in 2016.

All the updates can be found on our media partner wine.co.za


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