Chardonnay Wine from DeMorgenzon winery

Wine: World’s Best Chardonnay Award Goes to a South African Winery

What’s your drink of choice? Ok, let’s narrow that down a bit: if you had to drink wine, what type of wine would you choose?

For me, my wine of choice (which also happens to be my current drink of choice) is white wine.

More specifically? Chardonnay. Why? Because I like its relative fruity flavor and full body as far as dry white wines go.

In East Africa, a large number of wines found on our supermarket shelves or served at establishments come from South Africa.

It goes to reason, then, that more often than not these days, I am drinking a chardonnay from a South African winery.

How pleasantly surprised do you think I was then to learn that a South African winery won the award for the best chardonnay worldwide at the recent 2016 Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA)?

You guessed it: very pleasantly surprised!

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Read on to find out more.

At a global competition held in the UK, wine experts voted a South African chardonnay the best worldwide.

‘Best Chardonnay over £15’ Decanter World Wine Award

The 2016 Decanter World Wine Awards, last week, pronounced The DeMorgenzon Reserve Chardonnay 2015 the best in the world. The Stellenbosch’s DeMorgenzon winery trounced all comers by winning ‘Platinum – Best in Show: Best Chardonnay over £15′. (Australian Wolf Bass Gold Label Chardonnay 2014 took the ‘Platinum – Best in Show: Best Chardonnay under £15′ win.)

The DeMorgenzon Reserve Chardonnay 2015 has shown remarkable consistency this year. In April, it won a regional trophy for best Stellenbosch chardonnay at the prestigious International Wine Challenge (IWC), also judged in London by a worldwide team of wine experts.

The international recognition for this wine was a great delight for DeMorgenzon winery owner Wendy Appelbaum. “You have no idea how exciting it is … no idea! Everyone likes to know they’re doing well but this is something quite exceptional,” she said.

In both the DWWA and the IWC, regarded as the top wine competitions in the world, global wine experts judge participant wines blind. These competitions see more than 30,000 entries between the two of them.

To place the Decanter win in context, the DeMorgenzon Reserve Chardonnay 2015 first had to face off against local competitors to win the distinction of being the best South African chardonnay. It then underwent another round of competition where it faced off with the best from Australia, New Zealand, France, America, Argentina, Chile and all other wine producing nations…and beat them too! The judges for this last round were DWWA co-chairs Steven Spurrier and Gerard Basset (Master of Wine and Master Sommelier) as well as Peter Richards (Master of Wine), Anthony Rose and Andrew Jefford.

Other Award-Winning Wines from DeMorgenzon Winery

Along with its International Wine Challenge regional trophy for best Stellenbosch chardonnay, DeMorgenzon winery won two further regional trophies. The DeMorgenzon Reserve Chenin Blanc 2015 took the Stellenbosch Chenin Blanc Trophy while the DeMorgenzon Maestro Red 2014 took the Stellenbosch Red Blend Trophy.  As Chris Ashton, International Wine Challenge event director stated: “To win three trophies with three different wine styles is pretty good stuff!”

Appelbaum praised DeMorgenzon winemaker and general manager Carl van der Merwe: “Carl is a wonderfully talented winemaker. We’re proud of our wine and even more proud of Carl. We work really well together and share a common vision of excellence.”

DeMorgenzon’s accolades also pleased Van der Merwe. “It’s remarkable because this is only the third commercial release of the Chardonnay Reserve from DeMorgenzon,” he said.

Wendy Appelbaum and Carl van der Merwe celebrate their win
Wendy Appelbaum and Carl van der Merwe celebrate their win

Past Accolades for DeMorgenzon Winery

This international recognition should not have come as a surprise since DeMorgenzon Reserve Chardonnay impressed straight out of the starting block. Platter South African Wine Guide 2015 named the wine’s maiden release from its 2013 vintage the South African White Wine of the Year.

Wendy and Hylton Appelbaum purchased DeMorgenzon winery in 2003. The winery immediately made an impact when its maiden release Chenin Blanc 2005 was recognized with a 5-star rating by the 2007 Platter South African Wine Guide.

“This is a farm which is so suited to both Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc,” said Van der Merwe. “I believe it’s a magical combination of the weathered granite soils and the influence of the morning sun.”

So there you have it. If you are in the mood for the best the world has to offer in terms of chardonnay this year, look out for the DeMorgenzon Reserve Chardonnay 2015. I sure will. And when you do, please leave me a comment below letting me know what you thought of it.

Until the next time,

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