South Africa’s granddaddy of wine routes, the Stellenbosch Wine Routes, which might be considered a golden oldie with its winemaking legacy spanning over more than four decades, has reaffirmed its standing as a world class wine destination with shining results at the 2017 Platter Awards.
The Platter White Wine of the Year, the Stellenrust 51 Barrel Fermented Chenin Blanc 2015 stems from the verdant soils of the Bottelary sub-route outside Stellenbosch, whilst the coveted Red Wine of the Year Title also when to a Stellenbosch Wine Routes member - the Winery of Good Hope for their Radford Dale Black Rock 2014.
In addition, South Africa’s oldest wine route scooped 23 of the 94 Platter Five Star Wines, with three of Kleine Zalze’s decorated with 5-star status. There were plenty of first time Five Star winners and from Stellenbosch it was Bartinney and Laibach who made their star-studded debuts.
“The 2017 Platter success is a huge feather in our Stellenbosch cap and underlines our diversity, prowess and longevity in this highly competitive industry,” shares Elmarie Rabe, Manager of the Stellenbosch Wine Routes.
This follows on the results of the 2016 Prescient Report on South African Chardonnay where Stellenbosch soared with 16 out of the top 35 wines that rated 90 or higher on the 100-point quality scale.
Three Stellenbosch producers also made the enviable shortlist of five producers vying for the title of the International Wine & Spirit Competition South African Wine Producer of the Year 2016. They are De Morgenzon, Kleine Zalze and Neethlingshof – the winner will be announced on 16 November 2016.
Other significant Stellenbosch accolades include five of the 2016 ABSA Top 10 Pinotage wines for 2016 and four of the Standard Bank Top 10 Challenge winners whilst four of the FNB Sauvignon Blanc Top 10 champions also call Stellies their home.
Stellenbosch also excelled at the 2016 Veritas Awards where 38 double gold medals were awarded to worthy contenders, of which 17 are from this eponymous region; a place where greatness shaped over centuries is merged with the visionary talents of pioneering youth.
The Stellenbosch Wine Routes was founded in 1971 and this pioneering initiative has changed the face of wine tourism in South Africa, spawning a host of similar regional wine routes in the country.
From humble beginnings the Stellenbosch Wine Routes now boasts more than 152 wineries as members which have been divided into five sub-routes. This bite-size approach helps visitors get the most out of their winelands experiences, on a route that caters to history buffs, golfers, families, romantic couples, nature lovers, gourmands, casual quaffers and serious pilgrims of the grape.