Diemersdal Reds Take Limelight at 2017 Michelangelo Wine Awards
Diemersdal notched a stunning array of golden awards at this year’s Michelangelo International Wine and Spirts Awards with two Double Gold and four Gold medals. Despite being better known for its pioneering range of Sauvignon Blanc wines, Diemersdal saw its reds dominating the Michelangelo medal tally. The Pinotage Reserve 2016 and Malbec 2016 won Double Gold, with Gold going to Diemersdal’s Bordeaux style Private Collection Red Blend 2011, the MM Louw Estate Red 2014 and MM Louw Cabernet Sauvignon 2015.
Diemersdal Grüner Veltliner 2017 was the only white wine in the stable to see a medal coloured Gold.
Thys Louw, Diemersdal proprietor and cellarmaster, says the achievements at the Michelangelo Awards are of especial significance due to the fact that the entries are judged by panels comprising a majority of international wine experts.
“This year’s Michelangelo saw judges from 22 countries scrutinising the entries, and the awards went to wines that had passed the stringent selection from diverse international palates,” says Louw. “If you are an international wine producing country such as South Africa, international opinion is of the utmost importance. Diemersdal is therefore elated at the tally of medals we garnered this year.
Over 1 600 entries were received for this year’s Michelangelo International Wine and Spirits Awards, making it South Africa’s leading international drinks event.
Despite being renowned for its innovative approach to Sauvignon Blanc, Diemersdal Estate has a pedigree as a producer of fine red wines. Louw is therefore not surprised by the performances of his red range at this competition.
“The Durbanville region definitely has the potential to deliver some of the finest red wines in South Africa and the world,” he says. “The roots of Durbanville viticulture and wine-making have always been firmly embedded in red wine, long before this was known as a world-class Sauvignon Blanc region.
“Through the 1970’s and 1980’s we were known for red wines, especially Cabernet Sauvignon. The fact that arguably South Africa’s greatest red wine – the GS Cabernet 1966 – was made from Durbanville grapes, underscores our area’s red wine pedigree.”
As the only producer of a Grüner Veltliner wine in South Africa, Louw says receiving the Gold medal for Diemersdal’s 2017 version of this variety was also very pleasing for the winery team.
“The international judges, who range from critics and sommeliers to journalists and importers, would have encountered substantial selections of Grüner Veltliner before, as one cannot talk about the Austrian wine industry without mentioning Grüner,” says Louw. “To see this variety being made at the Southern tip of Africa to a standard warranting a Gold medal, shows that as far as pioneering goes in this country, there are still a lot of exciting opportunities.”