Hartbeespoort Vélo et Vin, a first time entry in the annual Blaauwklippen Blending Competition, did the North West proud as triumphant winner, taking the trophy with their playful but chic red blend of Shiraz, Malbec, Petit Verdot & Merlot.
Kicking dust in the eyes of 74 other wine clubs, the Hartbeespoort Vélo et Vin created a wine with exceptional structure and good ageing potential; securing not only the title of winning wine club, but also the Newcomer of the Year title.
The battle between the last four standing wine clubs were Business Time (Western Cape), Digital Blenders (Western Cape), Hartbeespoort Vélo et Vin (North West) and the Lydenburg Wynproewersgilde (Mpumalanga) and the battle was fierce.
The winning blend of 46% Shiraz, 23% Malbec, 17% Petit Verdot and 14% Merlot was announced on 5 October 2018, during a lunch prize giving ceremony at Blaauwklippen Vineyards. The winning blend will be bottled under the Blaauwklippen Blending Competition label and recognition will be given to this successful wine club on the back label. The wine is sold in limited edition Magnum bottles from the farm’s Tasting Room and online at R260 per bottle.
“We challenged the clubs to create a playful but chic blend to enjoy anytime with friends & family but with enough backbone to be savoured at a special occasion from Shiraz 2017, Malbec 2017, Petit Verdot 2017 and Merlot 2017” Narina Cloete, Winemaker at Blaauwklippen explained.
All four of these cultivars had to be used in the final blend and all the wines, which are marked for use in the Blaauwklippen range, received a variation of oak regimes. Each of the wine components were limited to a minimum of 5% of the blend and no more than 50% of the total blend.
This year the Blaauwklippen Blending Competition celebrates 35 years of taking the novelty of the blending process to wine clubs all over South Africa, making it one of the oldest wine competitions in the country.
“We were surprised once again by the popularity of this battle we created for wine tasters and wine lovers.” says Narina. “The clubs try to capture the enigma of blending which is the true art of tasting and making wines, and in the process becomes a winemaker for a day.”
Judges for this year’s competition were Narina Cloete (winemaker at Blaauwklippen), Clive Torr (Cape Master of Wines), Spencer Fondaumiere (Sommelier at Warwick Wine Estate), Marlvin Gwese (Sommelier at Cape Grace Hotel) and Karen Glanfield (Wine writer & educator).
As winning wine club, Hartbeespoort Vélo et Vin wins various prizes including wine, as well as glassware from Vitria.