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The Merit Wine and Spirit Challenge will again award Gold Awards to spirits and wines of quality, and Value Awards to wines at R190 and below and spirits that are R380 or below. Wines and spirits that are both good quality and value will also be able to receive a double award.

TIMELINE FOR 2022

Entries open 8 March 2022 and Early Bird special ends at midnight 28 June 2022
Early bird special R795 excl VAT per entry
Regular entries fees applies from 29 June to close on 2 August 2022
Entries at R995 excluding VAT per entry
Delivery of samples on 15 and 16 August 2022

AWARDS

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

Merit-Value-2022
TheMerrit-gold

The Merit Wine and Spirit Challenge will again award Gold Awards to spirits and wines of quality, and Value Awards to wines below R190 and spirits that are R380 or below. Wines and spirits that are both good quality and value will also be able to receive a double award.

TROPHIES AWARDED

Trophies will be awarded for:

  • Best Rum
  • Best Gin
  • Best Chenin blanc
  • Best Rosé/Blanc de noir
  • Best Red wine
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SO WHAT IS DIFFERENT?

Wine

Spirit

Pannellists

Awards

This event 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, for example, gins will not be pitted against vodkas, and each class will set their own benchmark.

Millennials do not have the same tastes as their parents, nor did they grow up in an era with limited choices dominated by a few major producers. They are more experimental and are not dictated to by tradition and are on their way to becoming an influential fine-wine consuming generation. Merit Wine and Spirit Challenge will roster a significant percentage of younger 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. If a product wins both these awards, it will be combined with one Double Award sticker at the cost of only one normal sticker (R375 excluding VAT per 1000).

Judging

Wine

This event 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 a class, for example gins will not be pitted against vodkas, and each class will set their own benchmark.

Value Scale

Only wines that are R190 including VAT or below, and spirits that are R380 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 R795 plus VAT each.
  • Normal entries are R995 plus VAT each.
  • Single and double stickers are R375 excluding VAT per 1000, and come in rolls of 1000, and 2000.
  • A wine sample has to comprise three 750ml bottles, or the volumetric equivalent thereof and a spirit sample has to comprise two 750ml bottles, or the volumetric equivalent thereof.
  • 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 event rules. 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 the first day of delivery, 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.

We will endeavour to have the stickers ready for collection around two weeks after the results are anounced. The stickers have to be paid for prior to collection, unless other arrangements are made with the organisers.

2021 Results

ProducerProduct NameVintageAward
Barnardt Boyes WinesCarrol Boyes Sketchbook Sauvignon Blanc2020Double Award
Barnardt Boyes WinesCarrol Boyes Sketchbook Chardonnay2020Double Award
Barnardt Boyes WinesDorp St. Sauvignon Blanc2021Double Award
Craft Link DistilleryHayward's VodkaNADouble Award
Craft Link DistilleryLe Fée VerteNAMerit Gold
Craft Link DistilleryHaywards DryNADouble Award
Craft Link DistilleryGinologist OrientNAMerit Gold
Craft Link DistilleryGinologist Citrus GinNAMerit Value
Craft Link DistilleryGinologist Floral GinNADouble Award
Craft Link DistilleryCullinan GinNVMerit Value
Craft Link DistilleryHaywards RoseNADouble Award
Craft Link DistilleryNot Your Average RumNAMerit Value
Craft Link DistilleryOccident RumNADouble Award
De Wetshof EstateDe Wetshof Estate Limestone Hill2021Merit Gold
Die Mas van KakamasDie Kalahari Truffel PotketelbrandewynNADouble Award
Die Mas van KakamasVer In die Ou Kalahari BrandewynNADouble Award
Die Mas van KakamasKalahari Dry GinNAMerit Value
Die Mas van KakamasKalahari Naartjie Infused GinNAMerit Value
Frater Family WinesFrater Family Wines Chenin blanc Barrique Selection2019Merit Gold
Frater Family WinesFrater Family Wines Grenache Rosé2021Merit Gold
Fynbos DistilleryJolly Rooster Plain Husk SpiritNAMerit Value
Fynbos DistilleryJolly Rooster Purple Haze GinNAMerit Gold
Gravel Junction Wine & SpiritsThree Peaks Chardonnay2021Double Award
Gravel Junction Wine & SpiritsThree Peaks Rosé2021Merit Value
Gravel Junction Wine & SpiritsThree Peaks Pinotage2020Merit Value
Gravel Junction Wine & SpiritsThree Peaks Shiraz2020Merit Value
Gravel Junction Wine & SpiritsThree Peaks CantataNVMerit Value
Great Karoo Spirit (Pty) LtdBossieveld Mystique Craft GinNAMerit Value
Groote Post VineyardsGroote Post Pinot Noir Rosé2021Double Award
Kindred SpiritsSugarbird Brandy XONAMerit Gold
Klein Roosboom Boutique WineryKlein Roosboom Marné Brut MCCNVMerit Gold
Klein Roosboom Boutique WineryKlein Roosboom Jéan Sauvignon Blanc2021Double Award
Klein Roosboom Boutique WineryKlein Roosboom Marianna Roos Rosé2021Merit Gold
KWVLaborie Rosé2021Double Award
Le Roux & Fourie VigneronsLe Roux & Fourie Pinnacle2015Merit Gold
Massimo's Spiriti FamosiMassimo's Spiriti Famosi LimoneNVDouble Award
Massimo's Spiriti FamosiMassimo's Spiriti Famosi Zenzero (Ginger)NVMerit Value
Massimo's Spiriti FamosiMassimo's Spiriti Famosi Arancia Orange-chocolate liqueurNVDouble Award
Mischa Wines (Pty) LtdMischa La Famille Merlot2019Double Award
Mischa Wines (Pty) LtdMischa La Famille Cabernet Sauvignon2019Merit Gold
Montagu WineryMontagu Winery Chenin blanc2021Merit Value
Montagu WineryMontagu Winery Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon2020Merit Value
Montagu WineryMontagu Winery Merlot / Ruby Cabernet2020Double Award
Montagu WineryMontagu Winery White Muscadel2021Double Award
Montagu WineryMontagu Winery Red Muscadel2020Double Award
Nicholson Smith AgenciesCybele Classic GinNADouble Award
Nicholson Smith AgenciesCybele Blood Orange GinNADouble Award
Niel Joubert WinesNiel Joubert Chenin Blanc2021Merit Value
Niel Joubert WinesNiel Joubert Grüner Veltliner2021Double Award
Niel Joubert WinesNiel Joubert Pinotage2018Merit Value
Niel Joubert WinesNiel Joubert Cinsault / Grenache Noir2020Merit Value
Perdeberg WinesPerdeberg Cellar The Vineyard Collection Chenin Blanc2021Merit Gold
Perdeberg WinesPerdeberg Cellar Classic Collection Chenin Blanc2021Merit Value
Perdeberg WinesSAAM Chenin Blanc - Fairtrade2021Double Award
Perdeberg WinesPerdeberg Cellar The Vineyard Collection Sauvignon Blanc2021Double Award
Perdeberg WinesPerdeberg Cellar Classic Collection Sauvignon Blanc2021Double Award
Perdeberg WinesPerdeberg Cellar The Vineyard Collection Grenache Blanc2021Double Award
Perdeberg WinesPerdeberg Cellar SSR - Soft Smooth White2021Double Award
Perdeberg WinesPerdeberg Cellar SSR - Soft Smooth Rosé2021Merit Value
Perdeberg WinesSAAM Pinotage - Fairtrade2020Merit Value
Perdeberg WinesPerdeberg Pinotage - Fairtrade2020Double Award
Perdeberg WinesPerdeberg Cellar The Vineyard Collection Malbec2020Double Award
Perdeberg WinesPerdeberg Cellar Classic Collection Merlot2020Merit Value
Poetic License Distillery ZAPoetic License Old TomNAMerit Gold
Poetic License Distillery ZAPoetic License FiresideNAMerit Gold
Republic of SwellendamRebel Classic Dry GinNADouble Award
Rosendal WinesRosendal Sauvignon Blanc2020Merit Gold
Rosendal WinesRosendal Barony Idunn Cinsault2020Merit Gold
Rosendal WinesNoble Nomad He Stole My Horse Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon2019Merit Gold
Silkbush Mountain VineyardsSilkbush Chenin blanc2021Merit Gold
Silkbush Mountain VineyardsSilkbush Rosé2021Double Award
Silkbush Mountain VineyardsSilkbush Pinotage2020Double Award
Silkbush Mountain VineyardsSilkbush Hillside Red2018Double Award
Summerhill WinesSummerhill Wines Chenin Blanc2021Double Award
Summerhill WinesSummerhill Wines Merlot2019Double Award
Time Anchor DistilleryMirari Celebration GinNAMerit Gold
Time Anchor DistilleryMirari Pink Damask Rose GinNAMerit Value
Tulbagh WineryGroot Tulbagh Cabernet Sauvignon2015Double Award
United Nations of Wine IncorporatedFrisky Zebras Game Ranger Reserve Chenin BlancNVMerit Value
United Nations of Wine IncorporatedFrisky Zebras Game Ranger Reserve Sensuous Sauvignon BlancNVMerit Value
United Nations of Wine IncorporatedFrisky Zebras Game Ranger Reserve Cabernet SauvignonNVMerit Value
Upland Organic EstateStuckiKaap2021Merit Gold
Van Loveren Family VineyardsVan Loveren Sauvignon Blanc2021Double Award
Van Loveren Family VineyardsVan Loveren Daydream2021Double Award
Van Loveren Family VineyardsVan Loveren Cabernet Sauvignon2019Double Award
Vigne d'OrVigne d' Or Cabernet Franc2020Merit Gold
Vigne d'OrVigne d' Or Shiraz2020Merit Gold
Vin de Classique InternationalCharmé Cabernet Sauvignon2018Double Award

Contact

General enquiries and administration

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

Bottles needed for SAMPLES

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

Drop-off location for samples

To be accepted, samples should be delivered between 9:00 and 16:00, on the two days allocated, to the drop-off location.

Address:
The Conference Centre
Klein Joostenberg
R304
Muldersvlei
Stellenbosch
South Africa

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

GPS  – 33 82’ 66 21 S / 18 79” 55 15 W

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 event.
  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 the first day of delivery 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 event (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 event may be entered again.
  10. Entries and registration will be accepted online from the start of entries up to midnight on close of entries. 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 three 750ml bottles, or the volumetric equivalent thereof and a spirit sample must comprise 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 two days allocated to be accepted into the event.
  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 and stickers is needed before stickers can be collected. Stickers generally 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 event, 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 event. Participants may only market their winning products in conjunction with the year of the event the product won the award.
  19. The event 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 event.
  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, the event mangement’s decision will be final.
  23. No refund of entry fees will be made.
  24. By entering the event, the entrant states that the information provided is factually and legally correct.
  25. If a participant does not follow all the rules of the event or legal requirements as required by SAWIS, the event has the right to disqualify the particular entry concerned or the entire year’s entries, or ban the producer from the event.
  26. The Awards Show (Pty) Ltd will not make a list available of all the producers that took part in the event, 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 event and their immediate family are not allowed to enter the event.
  30. If an entrant does not comply with the event rules, 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 event the right to enter the product and order stickers. If this is not found to be the case, the person entering the event 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 event, 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. Event management 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. Event management may change the event rules without notice, and publish them on the website without giving notice to entrants. If an entrant does not want to comply with the new event rules, they can cancel their entries up to the date entries close. After this time, entrants have to comply with the event rules.