Christiaan Groenewald of New Cape Wines/Eagle's Cliff Wine Cellar has taken the honours as Diners Club Winemaker of the Year for his Arendskloof Voetspore Tannat-Syrah 2011.
The Young Winemaker of the Year is Murray Barlow of Rustenberg Wines for his Stellenbosch Chardonnay 2012.
The award winners were announced on Saturday 30 November 2013 at a glittering gala event at La Residence in Franschhoek.
Winemaker of the Year, the highest accolade for individuals in the South African wine industry, is now in its 33rd year and it remains the dream of any local winemaker to bear the title.
Great names in winemaking, such as Günter Brözel, Beyers Truter, Walter Finlayson and Johan Jordaan, owe part of their success to this initiative and the prestigious award.
“I am very impressed with the quality of the entries this year and congratulations to our outstanding winners,” says Diners Club South Africa managing director, Ebrahim Matthews.
Dave Hughes, chairperson of the judging panel, confirmed that Christaan’s Groenewald Arendskloof Voetspore Tannat-Syrah 2011 was chosen from a record 87 entries for this year’s category of non-Bordeaux red blends.
There were 51 entries for the Young Winemaker of the Year in the category of dry white wines.
"Shiraz, grenache, mourvèdre and cinsaut are growing in popularity, and winemakers are beginning to experiment with Italian and Portuguese varieties. The quality of uncommon combinations was exceptionally good this year,” says Hughes.