SA Muskadel Awards 2019

24 May 2019.

Badsberg beats the rest!

Badsberg Wine Cellar from Rawsonville in the Breedekloof Valley was crowned top laureate with one platinum and two gold awards at the 17th annual Muskadel SA Awards as sponsored by Enartis SA.  The award function was held on 23 May at Noop Restaurant in Paarl.

The platinum award went to their Badsberg Red Muscadel 2017, while their 2008 and 2009 Red Muscadel won gold – the 2008 having also won gold at the 2009 awards.

“We are very proud of our flagship Red Muscadel. We were honoured with a platinum award in 2014 for our Badsberg Red Muscadel 2013; to win this award again is a great privilege,” says Willie Burger, cellar master at Badsberg Wine Cellar.  “With both our older and newer vintages performing this well, we are assured of an excellent platform to work from in the future.”

Burger continues to praise his winemakers, Henri Swiegers, Jaco Booysen and Stian Victor as well as their grape producer, Wysersdrif Farms for their dedication and hard work.

Robertson Wine Valley

Robertson’s Mont Blois Wine Estate is the only other cellar to be honoured with a platinum award this year. The wine estate has been in the Bruwer family for six generations and their winning wine, Mont Blois Pump House White Muscadel 2016 is made from grapes cultivated from vineyards that are 26 years old and only 330 cases were produced.

The bottles are packed in an elegant wooden box with the Bruwer coat of arms printed in gold – a beautiful reflection of South African muskadel.

Three other wines from the Robertson Wine Valley won gold:

Bon Courage Estate, a regular performer at the SA Muskadel Awards won two gold awards for their Red Muscadel 2018 and White Muscadel 2018. Montagu Wine & Spirits also won gold for their White Muscadel (no vintage).

Breedekloof Valley

The Breedekloof Valley upheld its reputation as famed muscadel country and collected five gold medals:

Du Toitskloof Wine Cellar added to their performances over the past four years with two gold medals for their Red Muscadel 2016 and Hanepoot Jerepigo 2014.

Slanghoek Wine Cellar walked away with no less than three gold medals for their Red Muscadel 2017, Red Muscadel 2018 and Hanepoot Jerepigo 2017. 

Worcester Wine & Olive Route

De Wet Cellar from the Worcester Wine and Olive Route won gold for their White Muscadel 2017.

Orange River Wine Route

A firm favourite amongst muscadel lovers is the sweeter wines from the Northern Cape – Orange River Cellarswons two gold medals for their White Muscadel 2017 and Hanepoot 2017.

Judging process

Tasted blind, the wines are judged and scored according to a tried and tested points system.  The uniqueness of the packaging also contributes to the final points tally and often means the difference between a gold or platinum award.  Consumers can identify winning Muscats by the gold or platinum Muskadel SA stickers on the bottle.

This year’s five judges convened under Dave Biggs (wine writer and founder member of the Wine-of-the-month Club) were Cerina van Niekerk (winemaker at Klawer Wine Cellar), Altus le Roux (former MD and Cellar Master at Boland Cellar for 24 years, currently Director at Coastal Wine Exports), Jaco Potgieter (DGB Oenologist), Nerina Cloete (winemaker at Blaauwklippen).

From the Muskadel SA Office

“As is often reported in the media, the wine industry as well as the rest of the agricultural industry is suffering from severe drought at the moment – we are very happy with muscadel because it is one of the first grape varieties to ripen, the heat helps the grapes build up a good concentration of sugar,” says Henri Swiegers, chairman of Muskadel SA.

“Harvest numbers are down, but the quality is high and we were very pleased with the quality entries we received,” Swiegers said.

From the sponsor

“It has been a privilege to have been involved in the Muscadel Association for 15 years. The producers once again made excellent wines in yet another challenging vintage. We wish the cellars success in 2019,” says Jaco Cockrell, sales manager of Enartis SA.

Join the conversation with hashtag #MuskadelSAAwards – Twitter & Instagram @yolandidewetpr Facebook

For more information contact Henri Swiegers at 082 829 6010 or


Released by                                          Yolandi de Wet PR                                                            Contact: Yolandi de Wet                                                                                  082 772 7519 / 028 316 1177

On behalf of                                         Muskadel SA

Contact: Henri Swiegers

Tel: 082 829 6010


News: SBIG changes to Sauvignon Blanc SA


South Africa’s champion for Sauvignon Blanc, one of the country’s most widely planted wine grape varieties, has undergone a transformation that brings momentum to its international success. Formerly known as the Sauvignon Blanc Interest Group (SBIG), Sauvignon Blanc South Africa not only announces a new name but taken the opportunity of International Sauvignon Blanc Day (3 May) to ring in a string of changes.


The organisation originally established to foster excellence and promote the cultivar has amongst others appointed a new marketing and support agency; revamped its logo and website; and, engaged the services of a well-known specialist to expand its knowledge centre.


Sauvignon Blanc SA chairperson RJ Botha says the change has been a long-time coming. “The former title as SBIG didn’t express strongly enough what we needed it to. Now anyone in the wine world will know what we’re about and where we’re from.

“The change has injected fresh energy to our cause. For starters, the conversation around Sauvignon Blanc Day 2020 and Concours Mondial du Sauvignon 2021 has already begun and we’re very excited about the prospects,” Botha says.


Sauvignon Blanc is the third most widely-planted white grape variety in the Cape Winelands and among the most extensive in New World wine countries. It is SA’s most popular grape variety – in total 40% of all white wine sales are Sauvignon Blanc, the most of all varieties. This in mind, Sauvignon Blanc SA came about to promote the quality of South African Sauvignon Blanc locally and internationally.

The interest group’s re-birth in celebration of International #SauvBlancDay – traditionally the first Friday in May – adds prominence to the occasion.


The organisation’s task has further been bolstered by the appointment of Agri-Expo, the long-standing promotion and marketing agency for the agriculture sector, to take care of day-to-day operations.

“The previous management committee laid a solid foundation with invaluable support over the past eight years from people like promotions dynamo Elsabe Ferreira,” says Botha. “The new team will build on this success with an eye to creating even more opportunity for our members and South African Sauvignon Blanc.”


Among the members’ new benefits will be the specialist insights of Dr Carien Coetzee from Basic Wine, who has been contracted to write a series of exclusive technical reports. In addition to having a PhD Agric Oenology from the University of Stellenbosch, her experience includes attending the International Sauvignon Blanc Celebration in New Zealand and serving on the tasting panel for Concours Mondial du Sauvignon international wine competition.


Sauvignon SA’s transformation furthermore includes a re-designed website, integrated with social media platforms to maximise the conversation around the variety.

Anyone can become a member of Sauvignon Blanc SA to access the benefits of pooled expert knowledge. Members’ networking and information exchanges include technical seminars and workshops, selection and training of specialist tasting panels for wine competitions, and early-warning marketing opportunities and events.


From a public perspective, most people get to know the organisation through its most prominent annual FNB Sauvignon Blanc Top 10 competition, which was started in 2007 to reward producers making wines of true distinction. Cape Wine Master Dr Winifred Bowman, an experienced judge and commentator, is the convenor of the panel.


The championship’s important dates for this year are the opening for entries at end July; judging from 3 to 6 September; and, the gala awards evening on Wednesday 9 October. A technical seminar based on this year’s performance is scheduled to take place on Wednesday 20 November in Franschhoek.


The current members of the Sauvignon Blanc SA committee are: Chairperson RJ Botha (Kleine Zalze Wine Estate), vice-chairperson Thys Louw (Diemersdal Estate), Carien Coetzee (Basic Wine), JD Pretorius (Warwick Wine Estate), Lukas Wentzel (Groote Post Vineyards), CP Conradie (Conradie Penhill Artisanal Wines), Emul Ross (Hamilton Russel Vineyards), and Daniel Keulder (Nitida Wine Farm).

For more information or to sign up to the Sauvignon Blanc SA newsletter, visit or call 021 975 4440. Join the online conversation about #SauvignonBlanc and tag Sauvignon Blanc SA on Twitter @SauvignonSA and on Facebook and Instagram as @sauvignonblancsa.




For media enquiries

Isabeau Botha
Agri-Expo Corporate Communication Manager
072 247 5868

SA Cheese Festival Press Release

9 April 2019 – SA Cheese Festival celebrates 18 years of cheese and more!

The South African Cheese Festival celebrates its 18th anniversary this year with a feast of 18-experiences-in-one from Friday 26 to Sunday 28 April 2019.

This “Festival of the Year” as awarded in 2018 promises a taste experience of popular local and international cheese, alternative and gourmet products, as well as select wines, craft beer and gin. New this year is a piazza with everything Italian and “Raak ‘n bietjie rustig” Friday for those who want to experience the festival at a slower pace.

“The SA Cheese Festival has grown into South Africa’s most popular outdoor food experience,” says Johan Ehlers, Chief Executive Officer of Agri-Expo, who has hosted the festival since 2002. “It offers an unparalleled value for money platform for visitors to taste, buy and enjoy cheese and complementary products from about 150 exhibitors, and especially to test entrepreneurs’ innovative creations – from insect ice cream to abalone pie!”

Tonnes of cheese – from Naples to Kareedouw

In the Cheese Emporium, festival goers can taste and buy the widest variety of cheese – old favourites and new ones – under one roof. Here, a brand-new Italian Piazza with Mozzarella, olives, Provolone, Prosciutto di Parma, pasta, pesto and Italian hospitality awaits.

“Unique to the SA Cheese Festival are exhibitions by artisanal cheesemakers from far and wide,” says Ehlers. “We annually offer an opportunity to a number of small cheese makers to introduce their unique handmade products to up to 30 000 visitors as part of our #Support #SmallCheeseMakers project in partnership with the Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA) and Absa.”

Room for learning from experts

Food lovers who like adventurous pairing experiences will enjoy a feast of six daily demonstrations in the Tasting Room, at no extra cost. Well-known foodies such as The Food Alchemist Pete Goffe-Wood, The Kate Tin Katelyn Allegra, The Food Fox Ilse van der Merwe and the Italian La Terra dei Cuochi winner Lapo Magni will share their pairing secrets – combining cheese with wine, beer and other complementary products. Come discover the story behind Afrikoa chocolate from Tanzania and what makes Prosecco different to Champagne.

According to Ehlers, visitors can also look forward to “Are you a ‘BOK’ for cheese?” with the Bok Radio Breakfast duo Wimpie and Le-Lue featuring SA’s 2019 Dairy Product of the Year – the 50/50 goat’s and cow’s milk cheese St Francis of Ashisi of Belnori Boutique Cheesery. Also on the programme are SA’s Top Ten Chenin Blanc in collaboration with Standard Bank; and cheese-and-wine tastings by Fairview’s chief winemaker Anthony de Jager (Friday and Sunday) and owner Charles Back (Saturday).

“Last year, the Tasting Room sessions were extremely popular and festival goers should arrive early to ensure a seat,” Ehlers recommends.

Discover alternative products

In the ‘Cape Made: Taste the Alternatives’ Mall, there is a selection of niche and alternative products such as pomegranates, chillies and periwinkle to choose from plus bargains directly from entrepreneurs thanks to a partnership with the WCDoA. In the ‘Cape Made Kitchen’, visitors can experience a taste of magic, at no extra cost, during three daily demonstrations where chefs of the Private Hotel School demonstrate specially developed recipes pairing cheese with bread and alternative products. Visitors also receive an exclusive recipe book as gift.

Cheese carving and live music

Big and small can win fantastic prizes (and of course delicious cheese!) in the Ladismith Cheese Carving Competition for which visitors can enter daily before 13:00 at Blossom’s Gazebo. Entries are free, but space is limited. And at the Music Gazebo, festival goers can enjoy performances by artists such as ShenFM, Absolutely Fabulous, Sincere Swing, The Grey, Under Cover and SHIM SHAM Band.

Boutique is king

According to Ehlers, the SA Cheese Festival offers the ideal platform to support boutique manufacturers. “Stalls with a select collection of wines are situated just outside the Cheese Emporium – a move from inside that was received overwhelmingly positive by festival goers last year,” says Ehlers. “Our focus is on discovering new tastes – from wine and craft beer to gin with honey, almond, buchu, strawberry or chai. We promote responsible use of alcohol and recommend that festival goers make use of shuttle services and taxis. ”

“Raak ‘n bietjie rustig” Friday

Friday 26 April is the first day of the festival and therefore the ideal day to experience the festival at a slower pace before the weekend gets busy. Watch out for “Raak ‘n bietjie rustig” packages on Friday 26 April – perfect for groups such as book/garden/crochet/coffee/bowls/lift clubs. Buy three adult or three senior citizen tickets and a fourth friend can attend the festival free of charge.

Get tickets before they sell out

The SA Cheese Festival will take place from Friday 26 April to Sunday 28 April 2019 at Sandringham outside Stellenbosch. No tickets will be available at the gates. Tickets are available at Computicket, Shoprite and Checkers at R180 per person per day. Senior citizens pay R120 and children aged 2 to 13 pay R20. An exclusive Connoisseurs’ Experience is available (at R950 per person, over 18 years only) for only 100 guests per day, with reserved seating, VIP parking, early access, a Président Cheese curated cheese board, a bottle of Linton Park wine and more.

Visit, contact Agri-Expo at 021-975 4440 or email for more information. For programme highlights, follow the SA Cheese Festival on Facebook (Cheese Festival), Twitter (@SACheeseFest) and Instagram (sacheesefest).



Isabeau Botha

Corporate Communication Manager


021 975 4440/072 247 5868

CIOPORA AGM 2019 Focuses on IP for Plants in South Africa, China and the US

4 April 2019

CIOPORA, the international association of breeders of asexually reproduced ornamental and fruit varieties, brings plant breeders, Intellectual property (IP) experts and governmental delegates from over 20 countries to Stellenbosch/Somerset West, South Africa, for learning, debating and networking on IP for plant innovations.

April 1, Stellenbosch/Somerset West – the latest developments in the national Plant Breeders’ Rights (PBR) regimes of China, South Africa and the US are in the center of attention at the CIOPORA’s 58th Annual General Meeting that is being held April 1 through April 5 in Stellenbosch/Somerset West, South Africa.

The objective of the meeting is to provide the plant breeder community with a comprehensive update on the latest developments in IP protection for plants and to facilitate the exchange of information about enforcement of the plant-related IP rights worldwide between the green sector, legal experts and governments.

Currently 120 delegates from 20 countries are attending this meeting in Somerset West. They represent breeders who license fruit and flower varieties worldwide, producing crops that also contribute to the sustainable development and competitiveness of South African horticulture.

CIOPORA aims to ensure that Plant Breeders’ Rights are fair, effective and enforceable, enabling breeders to develop new varieties that are able to cope with a changing environment and ensure sustainably produced products for an ever growing population. Sapo Trust, Citrogold and TopFruit (via A.I.G.N.) are the South African members of the association. Along with 120 CIOPORA members and guests from over 20 countries, CIOPORA’s AGM invitation was accepted by several high-level governmental delegations, including the officials from the People’s Republic of China, the EU, and the US. The meetings will serve as a platform for knowledge transfer and establishment of a productive dialogue between governments and businesses as to potential improvement and further harmonization of the PBR regimes across various jurisdictions.

The full week’s program includes the CIOPORA Academy Workshop on April 1, the Administrative meeting on April 2, the IP Around the Globe panel discussion and the Enforcement Symposium on April 3, the CIOPORA Conference dedicated to various aspects of the green business in newly industrialized countries on April 4, and the business visits hosted by Provar and Future Fynbos on April 5. END

The governmental guests of the CIOPORA AGM 2019 include:

From People’s Republic of China – the Supreme People’s Court Judge Ms Luo Xia; Director of Plant Variety Protection Division of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) Dr Cui Yehan; Deputy Director General of the Department of Science and Technology, National Forestry and Grassland Administration (NFGA) Dr Du Jishan.

From the US: the Deputy Administrator, The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Dr Ruihong Guo; Director of the USPTO IP Attaché Program Mr Dominic Keating.

From the EU: the CPVO Vice-President Mr Francesco Mattina;

From the UPOV: Vice Secretary-General of UPOV Mr Peter Button.


Ms. Anna Kaehne

Director of PR and Communications

Tel: +49 40 555 63 702


CIOPORA is the International Association of Breeders of Asexually Reproduced Ornamental and Fruit Varieties. Breeders of such varieties account for two-thirds of all Plant Variety Rights (PVR) titles in the world. For more than 50 years, CIOPORA has represented these breeders in all matters of Intellectual Property (IP) Protection


Ms Liza Matthews

Marketing Manager

Tel: +27 73 147 4725

Citrogold contact

Ms Charlene Nieuwoudt

Communications Manager

Tel: +27 21 883 9723


Citrogold (Pty) Ltd is a cultivar management company identifying, developing and commercializing horticultural intellectual property in South Africa with a focus on citrus and subtropical varieties.

Citrogold is leading manager of plant varieties with PVRs in South