South Africa’s 2012 Diners Club Winemaker of the Year Winners Announced

Diners Club is proud to announce that the Winemaker of the Year 2012 title has been awarded to Razvan Macici from Nederburg Wines, for his Private Bin Eminence 2007. Arguably the most coveted wine awards in the industry, the Diners Club Winemaker of the Year Awards have now been running for 32 years. Razvan Macici, a Romanian local, was not only granted the honourary title, but also received recognition and top honours for two additional wines -Winemaster’s Reserve NLH 2010 and 2011 – a record first in the history of the competition.

Following many years of experience working in the wine industry across Europe, Macici moved to South Africa in 1997 and was appointed four years later to oversee the production of a multi-tiered range of specialist, micro-vinified wines; as well as mainstream and lifestyle wines for Nederburg Wines, which are sold locally and internationally.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Also announced on the evening was the Young Winemaker of the Year Award, which encourages and inspires young winemakers to achieve greatness. Anri Truter from Beyerskloof was awarded this prominent title for his 2010 Diesel Pinotage, following in the footsteps of his father, Beyers Truter, who won Winemaker of the Year in 1997 for one of his family wine estate wine’s, Kanonkop Pinotage. The art of viniculture evidently comes naturally to Anri, who started working from a very young age, assisting in the vineyards, cellars and tasting rooms of Kanonkop, where he was raised.

Diners Club Winemaker of the Year awards is one of the most sought after and well respected wine industry competitions, aiming to recognise excellence in wine production. 2012 marked another first for the Awards, as it was the first time the dessert wine (unfortified) category was selected as the judging criteria.

South Africa’s top wine industry leaders and Diners Club guests gathered for the highly anticipated Award ceremony that took place on 3 November at The Conservatory in Franschhoek. Paying tribute to the competition and winemaker finalists was the MC, former Springbok rugby player and local sports presenter Bobby Skinstad, who was joined by Diners Club dignitaries and international guests. Diane Offereins, the Executive Vice President of Discover (Diners Club holding company), was one of the esteemed guests in attendance. Offereins is an award winner herself, having been recognised as one of the Top 25 Women in Finance for four consecutive years (2008 – 2011), as voted by U.S Banker magazine.

Diners Club was privileged to have the current International Wine and Spirit Board Winemaker of the Year, Neil McGuigan, CEO of Australian Vintage Ltd, join the panel of carefully selected judges. The panel was chaired by legendary wine critic and author Dave Hughes, Margaret Fry, Cape Wine Master; Nomonde Kubheka, judge of the SAA Wine Awards; Cape Wine Master andDessert Wine connoisseur, Colin Frith; along with SA’s leading independent drinks commentator and wine journalist, Neil Pendock, bio-technology expert, Margaret Fundira and the reigning Best Wine Steward, as nominated in the 2012 Diners Club Winelist Awards, Ewan McKenzie.

“The 2012 category, Dessert Wines – unfortified, is a highly specialized category so we were very pleased at the level of interest, with four finalists emerging from a list of 64 entries. More proof that the winemaking industry in South Africa continues to grow in sophistication and can hold its own amongst its global peers,” said Ebrahim Matthews, Managing Director at Diners Club South Africa.

“We would like to congratulate all the finalists and more importantly the winners Macici and Truter for their ongoing commitment and passion for the wine industry,” he concluded.

For more information, please visit http://connoisseurs.dinersclub.co.za/restaurants and follow Diners Club on Twitter via @DinersClubSA and  #DCWinemaker2012

Notes to Editor:

The 2012 Diners Club Winemaker of the Year received two business class flights and accommodation courtesy of SAA Holidays to Buenos Aires, Argentina, as well as luxury luggage from Luggage Warehouse and chauffeur transfers with Avis. The Young Winemaker of the Year received two complimentary return flights from Choices Travel to Rome, Italy, along with accommodation at the Hilton Worldwide Hotel, Luxury Luggage from Luggage Warehouse and Point to Point transfer service from Avis.

Finalists for Winemaker of the Year 2012 were:

  • Pieter Badenhorst, Bergkelder
  • Marc Kent, Boekenhoutskloof Winery
  • Adele Swart, Rudera Cellar
  • Razvan Macici, Nederburg Wines

Finalists for Young Winemaker of the Year were:

  • Anri Truter, Beyerskloof
  • Francois Bezuidenhout, Man Vintners
  • Peter de Wet, De Wetshof Estate
  • Charles Williams, De Toren Private Cellar
  • Nico Grobler, Eikendal
  • Stuart Botha, Eagles Nest

Editorial contact:

Marisa Logan

Communications Manager, Bletchley Park

marisa@bletchleypark.co,za, 021 425 7111

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