2017 Award Winners

Dear Michelangelo winners, while the entry forms have been made available on the website for you to complete and send back to us, please take note that – due to the logistics and time involved in the over-printing of the QR codes – your customized stickers will be available for collection only from the 15th of October. 

We apologize for this huge inconvenience, because we understand how keen you all are to show off your medals, but the first year has had its fair share of teething problems and unexpected little glitches which will be ironed out and simplified in future.

We beg your indulgence and thank you in anticipation for your patience.

Please ensure that we have your winning wines and spirits’ tasting notes, sales information and pack shots. Should you not have received the necessary forms, please urgently contact Thomas Müller at thomas@rainmaker.travel

This years 2017 Michelangelo glitzy awards dinner was hosted by Tsogo Sun at the Southern Sun Cape Sun Hotel, Strand Street in Cape Town.






Michelangelo International Wine & Spirits Awards 2017, was judged at Longridge Wine Estate in Stellenbosch this year.


In its 21st year, the Michelangelo International Wine & Spirits Awards, was judged at Longridge Wine Estate in Stellenbosch.

Michelangelo International Judges Make Case for Pinotage and Chenin Blanc

Wines made from grapes with strong South African links are receiving enthusiastic support from judges at this year’s Michelangelo International Wine and Spirits Awards 2017, currently being judged at Longridge Wine Estate in Stellenbosch. With 28 judges from 22 countries, Michelangelo is South Africa’s largest and only truly international wine competition.

According to the judges, Pinotage and Chenin Blanc – varieties known as world-wide calling cards for the South African wine industry – are producing wines of excellence and true regional expression capable of furthering the presence of the industry globally.

Parani ChitrakornParani Chitrakorn, a wine educator and consultant from Thailand, says the Chenin Blanc wines tasted at this year’s competition is proof that South Africa had become a global leader in this variety.

“The flights of wines we tasted – both wooded and unwooded – showed beautiful fruit characters, balance and refreshment,” she says. “There is a common thread of skilled winemaking and a South African note of elegance and sunshine in the wines. But at the same time the Chenin Blancs show interesting diversity reflecting their respective terroir of origin. This is definitely one of the best South African categories and can be taken to the world with pride. And they would be great with spicy Thai food from my homeland!”

Dermot NolanDermot Nolan, MW, from Dublin has tasted on five Michelangelo Wine and Spirit Awards and is convinced that Pinotage has a strong role to play in the local industry. Not only because this is a South African born variety, but as a result of the vast improvements the category has undergone.

“Especially in Cape Blends where Pinotage harnessed with other varieties, the wines are one of a kind with a world-class feel in terms of texture and elegance,” he says. “But for sheer class and quality South Africa’s Bordeaux blends are simply incredible. They express a taste of place, sophisticated winemaking processes by winemakers understanding each grape used in the blend as well as having a clear vision of the outcome.”

Lorraine Immelman, founder and MD of the Michelangelo International Wine and Spirits Awards, says that this year’s competition attracted over 1 600 entries, making it the largest wine competition in South Africa.

“Our trademark has always been the panels of international judges who not only offer unique insights into South African wines, but also leave the country as ambassadors for our industry,” she says. “And if their positive reaction to this year’s entries is anything to go by, this will definitely be the case this year, too.”



This year, 2017 entries being delivered at Longridge Wine Estate








Six bottles of 750ml or five bottles of 1000ml capacity for each entry must be submitted for tasting,


  • OPTION A: Please submit a total of 24 bottles of wine per entry (not applicable to Garagiste producers, fortified or sparkling wines or spirits and liqueur entries): 6 + 18 = 24 bottles
  • OPTION B: Please submit 6 bottles per wine entry by 30 July. Should this wine win a medal, we require a further 36 bottles delivered to us before the end of October, with the 2017 award stickers (which will carry the new QR codes) attached.

(Please read more by clicking here).

Please submit each entry separately boxed and clearly marked on the outside of the boxes with the class number under which the wine is entered.

Exceptions to this Rule:

  • For Sparkling wine or champagne entries No additional bottles to support the marketing drive are required.
  • Garagiste entries four (4) 750ml bottles will be accepted for judging and no additional wine will be required to support the marketing drive. Should Garagiste producers want their products to be offered in Airlink lounges and on Airlink routes, they may submit an additional four bottles for this purpose.
  • For Brandy entries two (2) 750ml bottles will be accepted, and no additional bottles to support the marketing drive are required.
  • For Liqueur entries two or three bottles are required. The combined volume should be at least 1l (one litre). No additional bottles to support the marketing drive are required.
  • For Other Spirits entries two or three bottles are required. The combined volume should be at least 1l (one litre) No additional bottles to support the marketing drive are required.
  • For entries for the Golden Oldies Trophy two (2) 750ml bottles will be accepted. The combined volume should be at least 1l (one litre). No additional wine will be required to support the marketing drive.



Dear Friends in Wine –

Re: 2017 Michelangelo Awards

We’ve received a few calls from old friends, asking us for more detail behind our decision to follow the industry trend, and also ask for wines to accompany entries into the Michelangelo awards.

It’s a fair question and a very good one too.

We’ve come a long way.

Michelangelo – in its 21st year of continuous operation – has grown to become the biggest southern African-based Wine & Spirits competition in terms of entries received.

With this honour, came an acute sense of responsibility – a responsibility on our side to add significant value to our clients, and to stimulate sales and marketing presence.

We came to realise that after producers have won the awards, in the traditional model, the responsibility went BACK to the industry to promote the significance of the awards so won.

This is precisely where we saw the opportunity to add significant value to producers: we found ways and partnerships to educate the market as to the significance of a Michelangelo award – in order to cultivate a loyal consumer response to the awards.

Here’s what we did to achieve that:


We booked advertising and advertorial space to the value of more than R2, 000,000 per annum in three of southern Africa’s top in-flight magazines, namely:

This advertising campaign of more than R2 million per year is an ongoing, monthly campaign – not a once off.


airlink logo


New Sponsors Open Doors for Entrants to Michelangelo International Wine and
Spirits Awards

Two new proactive sponsorships will create extensive marketing opportunities for entrants in this year’s Michelangelo International Wine and Spirits Awards. The main objective of sponsors Tsogo Sun and carrier Airlink is to give competition entrants the opportunity to expose Tsogo Sun and Airlink clients to the wines and spirits participating in South Africa’s largest competition of this nature.

Michelangelo has always been committed to providing its entrants various platforms that can benefit their products and brands,” says Lorraine Immelman, founder and MD of the Michelangelo Wine and Spirits Awards which celebrates its 21st anniversary this year. “Media exposure and recognisable bottle stickers are traditional examples of how wineries and distilleries stand to benefit from the Michelangelo brand. With Tsogo Sun and Airlink entering the fray, however, a whole gamut of exciting opportunities have been created to the benefit of the entrants.”

With 1 829 entries last year, Michelangelo is the leading wine and spirits competition in South Africa. This year’s entrants can look forward to exposing their wines to local and international guests staying in one of 14 000 Tsogo Sun hotel rooms in South Africa. Tsogo Sun will film the 2017 Michelangelo judging process and awards dinner, the insert being flighted on Inspire, Tsogo’s in-house TV channel for guests and visitors. Michelangelo award winners will also be invited to showcase their wines in an innovative and exciting public wine event that will be held in Sandton towards the end of the year – the first time the competition has done public tastings.

Tsogo Sun is one of the South African hospitality industry’s largest wine purchasers, exposing hundreds of thousands of people to its wine offering through 14 entertainment destinations and over 100 hotels,” says Immelman. “Through Michelangelo, the wine and spirits industries now have another dynamic partner committed to adding value to those entering this year’s competition.”

Airlink, the airline servicing 37 destinations in nine African countries within the SADC, has committed to serving the wines of entrants in this year’s Michelangelo International Wine and Spirits Awards on all its flights offering a bar service. “To add to this amazing opportunity for entrants, Airlink is also promoting Michelangelo entrants through its active digital and video channels, as well as in its monthly in-flight magazine. With some 1,3m flying Airlink annually, the exposure is enormous.”

Immelman says the involvement of these sponsors represents the kind of reinvention wine and spirits competitions need in aligning competent critical recognition with commercial opportunities for entrants.

Ten years ago having a Michelangelo bottle sticker as a seal of approval on your bottle was the main reason for a producer to enter the competition,” says Immelman. “Since then the drinks business has become more competitive and more marketing-driven, and we at Michelangelo have a responsibility to offer our entrants opportunities to market and promote their brands, adding value for those entering South Africa’s leading wine and spirits showcase.”

Producers wishing to enter the Michelangelo International Wine & Spirits Awards have until 31 July to submit entries. Details can be found on www.michelangelowineawards.com.

Contacts: Lorraine Immelman, MD Michelangelo on 082-556 8679 or e-mail lorman@yebo.co.za. Emile Joubert, MediaVision on 082-8862437 or e-mail emile@mediavision.co.za

Michelangelo QR code program a world first for the wine industry!

For consumers, the benefit comes from the ability to make a more informed decision when purchasing wine. Or, they can learn more about a wine they’ve already bought, after they pop the cork and sit down with a glass.

The QR codes open the particular wine’s tasting notes, as well as information on the producer and where to purchase the wine. Via the code, the consumer will also be able to access the booking and information sites of the Tsogo Sun group and Airlink, as well as the websites of the Michelangelo and label sponsor, Multi Color Corporation (MCC).

Numerous apps on smartphones can scan the code, using a phone’s camera, then translate the design into a Web address. This link wine drinkers to a winery from almost any location, as long as they have a smartphone.