Media release

mic0053Media release

27 September 2016

670 wines awarded at Michelangelo’s 20th

The Berrio Weather Girl 2015 Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon blend walked away with the top honours when it was awarded the Grand Prix Trophy for the highest scoring wine in the 20th Michelangelo International Wine & Spirits Awards.  With a record number of 1829 entries received for this year’s competition, it is no mean feat for The Berrio to have received  the highest score of 98 points from the Michelangelo panel of international judges.

At a glitzy awards ceremony for 400 guests, held at the Lord Charles Hotel in Somerset West on Monday evening (26 September), a total of 670 awards were announced. Of these 18 were platinum, 113 were Grand’Or, 271 were gold and 253 were silver medals.

Chenin Blanc sets the new trend and takes three trophies

Chenin Blanc was undoubtedly the star the show with three of the 15 trophies being awarded to this varietal.  This confirms the current trend of a growing interest and a better appreciation of the varietal and its many styles. 140 Chenin Blanc entries were received, resulting in three trophies, one platinum, 8 Grand d’Or, 16 gold and 12 silver medals awarded.

The inaugural Chenin Blanc trophy, sponsored by cork production company Juvenal, was awarded to Stellenrust for their Barrel Fermented Chenin Blanc 2015.

The second Chenin Blanc which was awarded a trophy was the Stofberg Family Vineyards Mia Chenin Blanc 2016. This wine received the award for the highest scoring wine entered by a small winemaker (Garagiste). Michelangelo remains the only wine competition in South Africa which makes a special award for artisanal producers of less than 9000 litres (total production) and who adhere to the rules of the Garagiste Movement of South Africa.

Mooiplaas Wine Estate was awarded the Golden Oldie trophy for a five year old Chenin Blanc, namely Mooiplaas  Chenin Blanc Bush Vines 2011.

For the first time this year the competition received a number of Champagne entries from France, as well as Prosecco entries from Italy. In total, sparkling wine entries showed an increase of almost 30% with a total of 91 entries. In this class the Méthode Classique trophy, sponsored by African Cellar Suppliers, was awarded to the Spar Group Private Label Wines’ Champagne Pierre Mignon Rosé de Saignee from France. In addition three Grand’Ors, 13 gold and 16 silver medals were awarded in this class.

This year the Pinotage class again experienced a record number of entries, namely 126. Here the judges awarded 44 wines as follows: 2 Trophies, 2 Platinum medals, 10 Gran d’Ors, 18 gold and 12 silver medals. The best Pinotage trophy, sponsored by JF Hillebrand, went to Anura for their Pinotage Reserve 2014.

The Grape Grinder received the exciting Coffee Pinotage Toneleria Nacional trophy for their 2015 Pinotage. This exciting trophy is awarded annually to the producer which best manages to draw out the mocha flavours from French oak into Pinotage and create a unique wine.

A dessert wine Grand Prix trophy, sponsored by Multi Colored Corporation, was introduced in 2015, with the aim of giving South Africa’s excellent dessert wines more exposure and recognition. The 2016 Multi Color Corporation Dessert Wine trophy was awarded to Badsberg for their Badslese 2012. In addition, five platinum medals, 12 Grand’Or medals, 32 gold and 17 silver medals were awarded to dessert wines.

Says Michelangelo CEO, Lorraine Immelman, “By employing internationally respected and highly experienced judges and abiding by the highest international technical standards, the Michelangelo has become a global player on the world map of wine and spirit awards. This year showed a 9% growth taking us to a new record number of 1829 entries, submitted by 296 local and 42 foreign producers. This makes Michelangelo the biggest wine competition in  South Africa – the culmination of 20 years of very hard work!

“Michelangelo’s results are very unpredictable and frequently huge revelations, as small or new wineries often get recognition alongside their large and well known peers. The international palates of our judges often react differently to the locally produced wines and therefore every Michelangelo’s results are interesting.”

2016 saw a drastic increase in the number of entries received from foreign producers, and more than 120 wines and spirits were entered from Australia, Italy, France, the Czech Republic, Lebanon, Chile, Moravia, China, Croatia, Slovakia and Slovenia. The best foreign wine was awarded the Trane International trophy, and went to the Home of Origin Wine for their French La Folie Douce Merlot 2014.

A few statistics

The class which received the highest number of entries, was Sauvignon Blanc, with 185 entries. Of these 24% were awarded 18 gold and 26 silver medals.

Classes which were awarded the highest number of medals in the 2016 Michelangelo were:

  • Shiraz: 41% of the 180 Shiraz entries received awards as follows: 2 Platinums, 15 Gran d’Ors,  32 gold and 24 silver medals
  • Pinotage: 35% of the 126 Pinotages entered, received awards
  • Chardonnay: 141 entries were received, of which 34% received awards
  • 185 Sauvignon Blanc were entered, of which 24% received awards


 18 Platinum awards were made to wines scoring 96 points or higher


Diesel Pinotage 2014

Niel Joubert

Christine-Marié Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Rooiberg Winery

Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2014

Journey’s End Vineyards

Destination Chardonnay 2014

Flagstone Winery

Flagstone Writer’s Block Pinotage 2014

Cederberg Private Cellar

Cederberg Shiraz 2014

De Grendel Wines

De Grendel Shiraz 2015

Peter Falke Wines

Peter Falke Exclusive Blend 2014

Zorgvliet Wines

Richelle Bordeaux Blend 2014

Windmeul Kelder

Chenin Blanc Reserve 2015


Classic Collection Cape Tawny

Nederburg Wines

Nederburg Private Bin Eminence 2007

Groot Constantia Wine Estate

Grand Constance 2013

Perdeberg Wines

Natural Sweet Chenin Blanc 2014

Nederburg Wines

Winemaster’s Noble Late Harvest 2014

Boplaas Landgoed

Boplaas Reserve Potstill 12 Year Brandy


KWV Alambic 15 Year Old Limited Release

Distell Richelieu

Richelieu 10 Year Old Vintage Brandy


For any further information, please contact:

Lorraine Immelman (CEO) on 082 556 8679/021  or


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