The Noble Late Harvest Riesling 2014 from pioneering Elgin wine estate Paul Cluver Wines was one of only six South African wines to receive a Platinum Award at this year’s Decanter World Wine Awards, a leading international wine competition which this year attracted over 16 000 entries from wine producers globally. Paul Cluver also won two Gold Medals at the same competition for both its 2015 vintage Chardonnays, namely the Seven Flags and the Estate.
Entries for the Decanter World Wine Awards were judged in London by 240 wine experts from around the world, including 69 Masters of Wine and 26 Master Sommeliers, making this one of the world’s wine competitions commanding the most stringent standards of selection.
According to Andries Burger, who this year celebrates his 20th year as cellarmaster at Paul Cluver Wines, the results of the Decanter Wine Awards are of tremendous importance for any wine producer whose wines compete in the global market-place.
“To receive Platinum and Gold recognition in this prestigious competition not only elevates the status of our wines in the international market, but also serves as a yardstick for Paul Cluver Wines with which to indicate our quality in today’s competitive wine industry,” he says.
Both Riesling and Chardonnay, for which Paul Cluver Wines was awarded top awards at the 2016 Decanter event, were grape varieties with which Paul Cluver pioneered cool climate winemaking in Elgin three decades ago. “To see this international recognition for two of the first cultivars planted on our Elgin estate recognises the vision of Dr Paul Clüver and everyone who had the foresight to create the Elgin Wine Valley 30 years ago,” says Burger.
“Riesling and Chardonnay were among the first varieties to be planted on Paul Cluver Estate in the late 1980s, largely on an experimental basis. Now, almost three decades later the cool climate terroir has proven Elgin to be one of South Africa’s most unique and attractive wine regions for fine winemaking. This is underscored by the recognition at this year’s Decanter Awards and is a tribute to all parties involved – the visionary experimentalists, the viticulturists and the winemaking teams who had the task of doing justice to Elgin fruit by making wines worthy of this most magical place with its extraordinary vineyard sites.”