The lighter side of winning

When you enter the Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) you are going up against some of the most famous wine brands in the world, so winning any award is extremely gratifying.

This year, 275 judges blind tasted 16903 wines from around the world.

Here is a quick summary of how the judging is organised, taken from the DWWA website:

Wines are organised for tasting by country, region, colour, grape, style, vintage and price. This ensures that wines are judged in flights against their peers.

DWWA has judges from around the world, including Masters of Wine and Master Sommeliers, and many of them are the foremost experts in their field. Judging is organised into categories, initially based on region.

The judges taste wines individually. They know the region, style and price bracket, but they don’t know who produced the wine or the brand name. They then compare notes on the wine and reach a consensus on each wine’s medal.

How did we do?

Points are awarded out of 100, with silver starting at 90 points. We were gratified to achieve 4 silver medals this year with our second Pictus white blend, Pictus VI leading the pack with 92 points. The label is the same as Pictus V. There was such a positive response from everyone, we decided this painting should be the face of our premium white blend.

Other silver winners were the Den Chenin Blanc 2017, Paarl Old Vine Chenin Blanc 2015 and Guillermo Swartland Pinotage 2014 all with 90 points. Our Swartland Syrah 2015 came in with 88 points and a bronze medal.

Great value

We are so used to our reds, especially Guillermo winning awards that it is quite an eye opener to see how well our white wines have been doing for the last couple of years. Pictus V, Paarl Old Vine Chenin 2015  and Paarl Roussanne 2014 have achieved a good handful of awards each. These three all fall into a more premium category, but the real white winner has been our den Chenin Blanc 2017. It recently achieved a silver medal at the Old Mutual Trophy Wine show to add to the other accolades it has racked up since bottling. In addition it was rated a Great Value* wine by Old Mutual rules.

*GREAT VALUE: medallists priced at under R80 per 750ml bottle for white.



The Wine Society in the UK have long been fans of our wines and have hosted a few wine pairing dinners with Jeremy over the years. We were really chuffed to receive top marks for Peloton Rouge 2014 from their judges in their private tasting recommendations to members:

Our whole pack of tasters awarded top points to this stunning South African pinotage-led blend, named in honour of winemaker Jeremy Borg’s pedal-powered conservation fundraising.

Without sight of such credentials, all we knew was that it was delicious, with an irresistible balance between smoky indulgence and energizing freshness. Enjoy the ride!

Along with those fine words, we particularly enjoyed these from about our Swartland Syrah 2015:

Upfront nose of macerated red wine gums and a hint of “Lavender Sta-Soft” and rose over a backbone freshly tilled earth and wet clay with fennel, lots of fennel. Beautiful bright acidity leads to another saline palate and restraint oaky smoky finish.  Great wine, outstanding value.

What words would you use to describe any one of our wines?





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