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In 1977 the SANW was founded to present the South African Young Wine Show and, since 1991, the VERITAS Awards.

VinPro (SA) is responsible for the administrative tasks of both shows, but the executive authority is the SANW that represents the entire industry. VinPro (SA) represents the South African wine farmers on all relevant forums, in government, related affairs and in producer associations. The most important services provided to the producers are the following:

  • Consultation in viticulture, viniculture, general management, financial planning and training of new farmers
  • Generic promotion and administrative support for wine shows
  • Providing for a voluntary surplus removal system
  • Managing the Wine Foundation and publishing of the annual Wine Industry Directory and WineLand magazine.



In 1973 legislation was introduced to recognize and protect the distinctive qualities that wines derive not only from certain areas and estates, but also from specific grape varieties and vintages. South Africa’s wine-growing areas have been classified by region, each of which consists of smaller districts, wards and individual estates.

This classification is administered by the Wine and Spirit Board, appointed by the Minister of Agriculture. Represented on the Board are CWSI, VinPro, the Dept. of Agriculture and the Agricultural Research Council. A seal, which has been certified by the Wine and Spirit Board, appears on each bottle of wine, guaranteeing the reliability of all information relating to origin, grape variety and vintage as stated on the label.

Before the Board issues the official seal of approval, wines are analytically tested and the tasting committees taste the wines to verify the cultivar and quality standard. About 40 people are nominated by the represented bodies to judge the wines before the official seal is granted. When judging the soundness of wines, they specifically look for colour, clarity, aroma and taste. An identification number is placed on the seal to record the history of each wine to the day it was harvested. Vineyards are subject to inspections and wine to monitoring in the cellar.



The South African Wine and Spirits Exporter’s Association (SAWSEA) was founded in 1978. The objective of the Association was to collect, study and disseminate information to its members on problems associated with the exporting of wine and spirits. It initiated action aimed at reducing and overcoming these problems in order to improve export opportunities.

At the end of 1992 the Association launched a South African generic wine campaign with the following objectives:

  • To create an image for South African wines as unique wines of exceptional quality and value, which rival and frequently outperform the great wines from other countries at blind tastings.
  • To actively and continuously expose the international wine trade and consumers to pertinent information on South African wines.
  • To establish South Africa as a superior competitor to other New World Wine producing countries.
  • To emotionally establish in the mind of the wine consumer that South Africa has the most beautiful, alluring, exciting and different wine regions in the world, and that by tasting the wine they are capturing a figurative slice of it.

The South African Wine and Spirits Exporter’s Association – now renamed Wines of South Africa (WOSA) - represents all South African wine and spirit producers. It has established offices in the U.K. (London), in Germany, The Netherlands (representing the Benelux countries), in Scandinavia, Canada, the USA and in Japan for the generic promotion of South African wines.

Each year it organises participation in various international wine shows, including the important London WineTrade Fair, Vinexpo in France and Japan, and ProWein in Germany.



Inaugurated in 1975, the mission of the South African Young Wine Show is to judge the quality of wines which are still in their infancy, and may still have some way to go before final blending and bottling. As such, the industry can award recognition to the wine cellar. Few of the wines on show are in their final form.

Entries must be submitted through each of the recognised regions. Once an entry is verified at regional level, it is passed on to the South African National Wine Show Association (SANW) to be processed.

The judging of all the region’s entries is done centrally and panels of judges are appointed by SANW. Each region presents its own wine show where wines are available for tasting.

At the annual National SA Young Wine Show the wines of all regional gold medal winners and the different class winners are tasted, and the winners announced. The show is presented on a roster basis by each region.



Established in 1991 by the South African National Wine Show Association (SANW), VERITAS is the only national show for bottled, market-ready wines. Uncertified and certified wines bottled in glass may be entered and only one entry of a specific label, regardless of the vintage and/or origin, is allowed. Producers must have a minimum of 200 cases (@ 6 x 750ml) of the wine in stock.

The first goal of VERITAS was to establish an internationally acceptable and credible judging system. The second goal was to make VERITAS accessible to the public and trade. Since 1998 very successful tastings have been presented in Cape Town and Johannesburg. International judges from France, Denmark, Argentina, Australia, U.K. and Sweden assisted in the 1999 VERITAS Awards.


The 2000 VERITAS Awards have drawn a record 1 486 wines entered by 233 producers – a record number of entries for the 5th consecutive year.

Judging takes place over 3 days in September and is done according to international standards. The wines are tasted by the country’s top wine experts. The judging is done by 10 panels of 7 judges who have to be either a Cape Wine Master or in possession of the Cape Wine and Spirit Educational Trust’s tasting certificate. Panels consists of specialists for each specific wine style and are drawn up with the assistance of the convenor of each panel. The convenor is selected from connoisseurs who are internationally recognised.

The points system for Double Gold, Gold, Silver and Bronze is calculated as follows:

  • A double gold VERITAS medal is awarded when five of the seven judges score a wine 17 or more points out of 20.
  • Gold when it receives a median point of 17, or a median point of 16 and three judges score it 17 or more.
  • Silver when it receives a median point of 15 or 16, or a median point of 14 and three judges score it 15 or more.
  • Bronze when it receives a median point of 13 or 14.

Double gold, gold, silver and bronze stickers are available for producers to display on the bottles of the winning wines. Look our for these indications of quality.

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