The Merit Wine and Spirit Challenge will again offer Gold Merit Awards to Spirits and Wine of Quality, and Value Awards to wines below R175 and Spirits that are R350 or below. Wines that are both good Quality and Value will also be able to receive a double award.

 

SO WHAT IS DIFFERENT?

Wine

Spirit

Pannellists

Awards

This competition will use a totally different set of criteria to determine winners. Rosé wines will only be pitted against other Rosé wines, while other classes such as Cabernet Sauvignon will battle it out by setting the standards for judging amongst themselves. 

Products will determine the standard within a class, this way gins will not be pitted against vodkas, and each class will set their own benchmark.

Millennials do not have the same taste as their parents and did not grow up in an era with limited choice dominated by a few major producers. They are more experimental and are not dictated to, and are on the way to become the top fine-wine consuming generation. The Merit Wine and Spirit Challenge will roster a significant percentage panellists to give millennials a voice.

Winning wines and spirits will be able to garner a Merit Gold award for quality, as well as a Merit Value Award for value for money, if they qualify. When a product wins both these awards, it would be combined with one Double Award sticker at the cost of only one normal sticker (R330 excl VAT per 1000)

TIMELINE 2020

  • Competitions Opens – 17th March 2020
  • Early bird cut off date – 9th June 2020
  • Normal entries – 10th June till 21st July
  • Late entry from 22nd July 2020 till 28th July
  • Delivery of samples – 3rd and 4th August 2020
  • Results released – on or before 11th August 2020
Early bird price R750 plus VAT per entry
Open - 17 March 2020
Normal price R975 plus VAT per entry
Early bird cut-off - 9 June 2020
Late price applies R1170 plus VAT per entry
Normal entry cut-off date - 21 July 2020
No entries accepted after this date
Late and final cut-off date - 28 July 2020
Wine - three 750ml bottles per entry | Spirit - two 750ml bottles per entry
Delivery of samples - 3rd and 4th August 2020
Results released
On or before 11th August 2020

TROPHIES AWARDED

A trophy will be awarded for the best Sauvinon blanc on show.

A trophy for best Rosé or Blanc de noir on show

Stickers

The Merit Value and Merit Gold stickers measure 25 mm across. Here are some close approximations of how these stickers will look like.

Merit-value
Merit-gold

Judging

Wine

This competition will use a totally different set of criteria to determine winners. Rosé wines will only be pitted against other Rosé wines, while other classes such as Cabernet Sauvignon will battle it out by setting the standards for judging amongst themselves. Similarly, Chenin blanc wines will set the standard amongst themselves and will not be compared to Bordeaux blends.

Spirits

Products will determine the standard within the class, this way gins will not be pitted against vodkas, and each class will set their own benchmark.

Value Scale

Only wines that are R175 including VAT or below, and spirits that are R350 including VAT or below will be judged for the Merit Value Award. The score will then be related to price to determine their value.

Particulars

  • Early bird entries are R750 plus VAT each
  • Normal entries are R975 plus VAT each
  • Late entries are R1170 each
  • Single and double stickers are R330 excl VAT per 1000, and come in rolls of 1000 and 2000
  • Only three bottles needed per entry for wines and two 750ml bottles in the case of spirits
  • No minimum stock quantity needed

Categories

  • Perlé or slightly Sparkling Wine (Any sugar level)
  • Sparkling Wine (Non MCC, RS <= 15g/L)
  • Sparkling Wine (Non MCC, RS > 15g/L)
  • Méthode Cap Classique (MCC)
  • Bukettraube Chenin Blanc (RS <= 10g/L)
  • Chenin blanc (RS > 10g/L)
  • Colombar (RS <= 10g/L)
  • Colombar (RS > 10g/L)
  • Chardonnay (RS <= 10g/L)
  • Chardonnay (RS > 10g/L)
  • Pinot Gris
  • Weisser Riesling (Rhine Riesling)
  • Sauvignon blanc (RS <= 10g/L)
  • Sauvignon blanc (RS > 10g/L)
  • Viognier
  • Other Single White Cultivar (RS < 10g/L)
  • Other Single White Cultivar (RS > 10g/L)
  • White Blend (RS <= 10g/L)
  • White Blend (RS > 10g/L)
  • Blanc de Noir and Rosé (RS <= 10g/L)
  • Blanc de Noir and Rosé (RS > 10g/L)
  • Low Alcohol Wine (Alc < 10%)
  • Cabernet Franc (RS <= 10g/L)
  • Cabernet Sauvignon (RS <= 10g/L)
  • Malbec (RS <= 10g/L)
  • Merlot (RS <= 10g/L)
  • Mourvedre (RS <= 10g/L)
  • Petit Verdot (RS <= 10g/L)
  • Pinot Noir (RS <= 10g/L)
  • Pinotage (RS <= 10g/L)
  • Shiraz (RS <= 10g/L)
  • Other Red Cultivars (RS <= 10g/L)
  • Bordeaux Styled Red (only 5 Bdx cultivars, RS <= 10g/L)
  • Cape Blend (30% – 70% Pinotage, RS <= 10g/L)
  • Other Red Blend (RS <= 10g/L)
  • Sweet Red (RS > 10g/L)
  • Natural Sweet Wine (Any sugar level)
  • Special Late Harvest (RS > 50g/L)
  • Noble Late Harvest (Any sugar level)
  • Straw Wine (Any sugar level)
  • Cape Ruby Port
  • Cape Tawny Port
  • Cape Vintage Port
  • Cape Late Bottled Vintage Port
  • Other Ports
  • White Jeripigo
  • Red Jeripigo
  • White Muscadel
  • Red Muscadel
  • Fino Sherry
  • Oloroso Sherry
  • Cream Sherry
  • Brandy Non Vintage / Age not Defined
  • Brandy 3-8 Years
  • Brandy 9-12 years
  • Brandy 13 – 20 year
  • Brandy from Fruit (e.g. Calvados)
  • Whisky Scottish
  • Wiskey Irish
  • Whiskey – USA
  • Whiskies – Other
  • Eau de Vie / Vodka (unflavoured)
  • Flavoured Vodka
  • Rice Wine
  • Absinthe
  • Grappa
  • London Dry Gin
  • Plymouth style gin
  • New style gin (Where other botanicals dominate the juniper)
  • Gin Other
  • Tequila
  • Mezcal
  • Sotol
  • Un-aged Rum
  • Aged Rum
  • White Rum
  • White Vermouth (White wine blended with spices)
  • Red Vermouth (Red wine blended with spices)
  • Flavoured White Wine Still
  • Flavoured Red Wine Still
  • Sparkling Flavoured White Wine
  • Sparkling Flavoured Red Wine

Questions?

You are not obligated to order stickers, but if you indicate that you do need stickers, you have to take them when the winners are announced, as set out in the rules of the competition. If you do not want stickers, please indicate the number of stickers needed as 0 (zero).

When you deliver your samples you need a current WSR2 or WSR4 certificate for each wine, or a Department of Agriculture Wine-on-Line screen capture printout to show the wine has a current tasting date. For white wine, the tasting date that the wine was approved on should not be more than 12 months prior to 10th August 2020, and not more than 18 months previously for red wine.

For spirits or other uncertified products, no WSR certificate is needed.

  • Unlabelled samples must be representative of the final product, and must be in their final bottled state.
  • Tank samples are not allowed.
  • Unlabelled samples must have a sticker on the bottle with all the relevant entry details.
  • Unlabelled spirits can be entered as long as the sample bears all the details needed for entry on a sticker.
  • Wines can be entered as long as the wine has a current tasting date and was approved by SAWIS.
  • For white wine, the tasting date that the wine was approved on should not be more than 12 months prior to 10th August 2020, and not more than 18 months previously for red wine.

The tasting procedure will be audited by a reputable auditing firm to ensure the judges are not influenced and the tasting is done blind and conforms to international standards.

An electronic certificate will be sent by email to the winners. If the same product is available under different product names, additional certificates can be requested at no extra cost.

Results will be emailed to winning entrants on or before 11th August 2020 to notify them. The entrants can utilise the stickers and competition artwork to maximise exposure on various social media fronts and for their existing client base. They must display the stickers together with the name(s) of the product, and vintage if applicable, that earned this accolade. Stickers will focus attention on the award-winning products, leading to higher visibility and a boost in sales.

We will endeavour to have the stickers ready for collection around the week of the 24th August 2020. The stickers have to be paid for prior to collection, unless other arrangements are made with the organisers.

Contact

General enquiries and administration

Sanet van Heerden (hello@themeritchallenge.com) or phone her on 084 446 0412.

Bottles needed for entry

A wine sample has to comprise of only three 750ml bottles, or the volumetric equivalent thereof and a spirit sample has to comprise of only two 750ml bottles, or the volumetric equivalent thereof.

Drop-off location for samples

The entry samples should be delivered between 9:00 and 16:00 on the 3rd or 4th of August 2020 at the drop-off location (to be announced), to be accepted.

Attention: Celia Gilloway
Tel: 082 782 1977
Email: celia@eventsbycelia.com

Rules

  1. Submission of samples and/or payment of entry fees constitutes acceptance of all the rules.
  2. Tank samples will not be accepted as entries into the competition.
  3. All non-flavoured wines must be accompanied by a SAWIS (South African Wine Industry Information & Systems – www.sawis.co.za) application number, and the stickers awarded may only be applied to the wine attached to the application number. If a certain wine has more than one application number, the wines must be entered separately.
  4. Each non-flavoured wine has to have a current WSR2 or WSR4 certificate showing that the wine was approved on the strength of taste and analysis by SAWIS, or a Department of Agriculture Wine-on-Line screen capture printout to show the wine has a current tasting date. This certificate must be current (i.e. the wine must have been tasted and approved by the board no more than one year before 10th August 2020 in the case of a white wine and 18 months in the case of a red wine). A sample will not be accepted without this certificate. No refunds will be paid if the WSR2 or WSR4 certificate is not current.
  5. Each category will be determined by the product information on the label.
  6. There is no minimum quantity needed to enter a product.
  7. There is no limit to the number of entries per producer. However, each wine, flavoured wine or spirit may only be entered once into the competition (even if it is under a different label), and any participant may enter more than one wine, flavoured wine or spirit in a class. Examples are wineries that produce several wines of the same varietal type, but with different vineyard designations or vintages.
  8. A wine that has not been certified as a cultivar wine, although it may be one, may be entered into a blended category.
  9. A product that received an award in a previous year’s competition may be entered again.
  10. Entries and registration will be accepted online from 17th March 2020 up to midnight on 21th July 2020. Proof of payment must be emailed to hello@themeritchallenge.com before midnight on the closing date for entries to be accepted.
  11. Invoices for entries must be printed online by the participant, and paid before the final close of entries.
  12. Small categories may be put together at the discretion of the organisers if there are too few entries in certain categories.
  13. A wine sample must comprise of three 750ml bottles, or the volumetric equivalent thereof and a spirit sample must comprise of two 750ml bottles, or the volumetric equivalent thereof.
  14. The samples must be delivered to the drop-off point between 9am and 4pm on the 3rd or 4th August 2020 to be accepted into the competition.
  15. Winners will be notified by email, and stickers will be available for collection about two weeks later. Proof of payment for both the entries (R975 excl VAT per entry) and stickers is needed before stickers can be collected. Stickers cost R330 excl VAT per 1000, and come in multiples of 1000 and 2000.
  16. Quantities of stickers ordered that are not multiples of 1000 will be rounded up and invoiced as such.
  17. By entering the competition, the entrant commits to paying for the number of stickers indicated before the required deadline for the products that receive awards.
  18. The producer may only use the stickers awarded on the particular product that was entered and won the award. Stickers may not be put onto another batch of product similar to the one entered, that did not win an award in this year’s competition. Participants may only market their winning products in conjunction with the year of the competition the wine won the award.
  19. The competition logo or stickers may not be displayed on their own for purposes of marketing, but must be accompanied by the details of the particular product that won, or they may be photographed on the product that won the award.
  20. Any samples remaining at the conclusion of the judging become the property of the competition.
  21. The judging process will be entirely confidential and no details will be released concerning the judging process and reasoning. No feedback of any nature will be given.
  22. The decision of the judges is final and no changes will be made to awards after the judging process is complete. In the event of a dispute, this competition’s decision will be final.
  23. No refund of entry fees will be made.
  24. By entering the competition, the entrant states that the information provided is factually and legally correct.
  25. If a participant does not follow all the rules of the competition or legal requirements as required by SAWIS, the competition has the right to disqualify the particular entry concerned or the entire year’s entries, or ban the producer from the competition.
  26. The Awards Show (Pty) Ltd will not make a list available of all the producers that took part in the competition, or reveal the scores assigned to any product, or make available the details of products that were not awarded. It remains the prerogative of The Awards Show (Pty) Ltd to publish results of awarded products as they see fit.
  27. Entries will only be accepted in English.
  28. Entries must be completed in full, and entries that were not completed in full could be declared void.
  29. Employees of the competition and their immediate family are not allowed to enter the competition.
  30. If an entrant does not comply with the rules of the competition, their entries may be cancelled.
  31. The producer whose product is entered must be fully aware of their submission, and must grant the person entering the competition the right to enter the product and order stickers. If this is not found to be the case, the person entering the competition will be liable for any financial commitment made.
  32. In the event that for any reason possible the judging of the wine cannot take place, or entrants cannot be given results, half of the entrants’ fees will be refunded. No other damages will be awarded by the competition, or any of the companies involved.
  33. For any claim to be made against The Awards Show (Pty) Ltd for defective stickers, the stickers must be returned to Postnet in Stellenbosch within 7 days after the date of delivery to Postnet. The Awards Show (Pty) Ltd will within its discretion either replace or pass a credit for defective stickers so proven, but shall not be liable for any direct, indirect, or any other loss, including loss to third parties and legal expenses, arising out of errors in carrying out providing stickers, or by delay in delivery, or by unsuitability of goods for use intended.
  34. This competition cannot be held liable for any damage incurred to stickers once labels have been accepted by a client or by a third party transportation company.
  35. This competition can change the rules of the competition without notice, and publish them on the website without giving notice to entrants. If an entrant does not want to comply with the new rules of the competition, they can cancel their entries up to the date entries close. After this time, entrants have to comply with the rules of the competition.
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