29 Nov

Abrie Beeslaar, cellar master at Kanonkop Wine Estate in Stellenbosch, has been crowned International Winemaker of the Year for the third time. The award was presented at the International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC) gala ceremony London on 15 November. Beeslaar also won this title in 2008 and 2015.

The IWSC is the world’s leading wine and spirits competition, with more than 5 500 products entered annually by some 50 countries.

Apart from the trophy for International Winemaker of the Year, Kanonkop was also named the South African Producer of the Year at this year’s IWSC event, as well as the winner of the trophy for Best Pinotage for the Kanonkop Black Label Pinotage 2013.

“I do know that the success can be attributed to the whole team that works in Kanonkop’s cellar and vineyards, as well as the people who ensure that our wines receive international attention. Nothing would be possible, however, without the nature Kanonkop has been blessed with. It is the soil types, aspect, and climate that give me outstanding grapes with which to make wine.”

Beeslaar added that he sees the award as recognition of South Africa’s potential to be rated as one of the world’s premier wine countries.

“Despite a wine industry with a history that stretches back to 1659 and the quality of our wines, South Africa struggles to maintain an image of premium quality in the international marketplace,” said Beeslaar. “Therefore accolades such as this one from the International Wine and Spirit Competition is particularly significant, as it shows the world that as far as quality and identity go, our country’s wines can compete with, and even trump, the best from France, Italy, Australia and the US.”

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