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Standard Bank Chenin Blanc Top Ten Challenge


When South African winemakers earn a coveted place in the annual Standard Bank Chenin Blanc Top Ten Challenge line-up, there is certainly satisfaction for the achievement and the acclaim it brings. Knowing your wine has been so highly ranked is an important industry affirmation. It’s also undoubtedly good for wine sales. But one of the strongest motivators for entry in the annual event, is knowing that the prize money for your winning wine comes not to you, but to the farm worker community, whose members are so integral to your success.

From the inception of the challenge that has been running since 2014, it has been made it a condition of entry that all prize money must be spent on projects designed to uplift or upskill farm workers, their families and their communities.

A new video tells the story of Spier, a regular Chenin Blanc Top Ten Challenge winner. It shows how the prize money is used to support the Sustainability Institute’s AgroEcology Academy, an initiative that teaches regenerative, sustainable but commercial cultivation of vegetables, nutritious eating, business management and marketing principles.

Explains Ken Forrester, chair of the Chenin Blanc Association and the driving force behind both the challenge and the rehabilitation of South Africa’s most widely planted, humble grape to the country’s most spectacular vinous success story: “Spier’s support of the AgroEcology Academy is important in that it teaches eco-sensitive farming practices, promotes job creation and food security. It also encourages those in the programme to become more financially independent, and ultimately in a position where they themselves can create jobs for others.

“While the video tells just one producer’s story, it is emblematic of the entire Challenge and what it has set out to achieve in acknowledging and supporting the role of wine farm workers. All the winners over the years, in consultation with their workers, have found their own ways to make a difference.

“We are proud of the priority that’s been given to education, from early learning programmes all the way through to tertiary training. Not only are there now creches and after-care facilities for school children on some farms. Other winners have created libraries, computer rooms and other educational resources for learners, workers and communities.

“Still other producers have donated their prize money to NGO, Pebbles Project to support its suite of education, health, nutrition, community and protection programmes. These benefit hundreds of infants and youth in the Cape Winelands. Pebbles also extends social services to combat foetal alcohol spectrum disorder and alcohol abuse. And finally, also amongst our winners are those who support housing, sporting and other recreational initiatives.”

To watch the video, click here, and to find out more about past winners and their projects, go to

DATE                                     29 APRIL 2021

ISSUED BY                           AUGUST COLLECTIVE

FOR                                        CHENIN BLANC ASSOCIATION

QUERIES                               INA SMITH, MANAGER, CHENIN BLANC ASSOCIATION, 082 467 4331



Kind regards


SA Wine Industry News

16 April 2021. Stellenbosch University and Vinpro have just launched a world-class platform for vineyard training and research at the Welgevallen experimental farm in Stellenbosch.


12 April 2021. How is the wine industry doing one year after the launch of Covid-19, and what’s new in the field of wine grape growing? Winetech and Vinpro answer these and other questions during a series of regional information sessions in May.

The Winetech Vinpro Regional Information Days will be presented from 6 to 20 May 2021, of which four can be attended digitally and one physically.

“Representatives of Vinpro and SAWIS (SA Wine Industry Information & Systems) kick off each of the sessions with an overview of the state of the South African wine industry one year after the onset of Covid-19 in the country – an extremely challenging year for the majority of wine-related businesses,” says Conrad Schutte, manager of Vinpro’s viticultural consultation services. Thereafter industry experts will share vineyard technical research, trends, practical tips, Winetech research projects and Gen-Z trials that are relevant to the respective regions.

During the Robertson region’s digital session on 6 May, an overview will be provided of the past season’s climatic conditions and the accumulation and breakdown of sugar and acidity during ripening. We also reflect on the reasons for the widespread occurrence of powdery mildew this year and how to prevent and manage it going forward, while also focusing on the susceptibility of rootstocks to the most important nematodes.

Producers in Breedekloof and Worcester can join the live webinar on 11 May, which will review post-harvest fertilisation during a late season, errors and successes with weed control, pests and diseases during this past season and a new pest in wine and table grape vineyards called Lobesia.

The Cape South Coast’s digital session on 13 May focuses on the status, management and impact of the leafroll virus on the South African wine industry. Industry experts provide a global perspective on South Africa’s leafroll status and introduce new commercially available tools for monitoring and analysing these infections, as well as progress in California with a mating disruption programme for mealybugs in vineyards. Finally, the presenters will outline the effect of the leafroll virus on grape composition and wine quality, as well as the economic considerations with regard to the control of leafroll.

Wine grape producers and viticulturists in the Olifants River region will meet at Die Keldery in Vredendal on 18 May for an overview of research projects and vineyard trials in the region, as well as a comparison of 2.3 and 4 litre drippers to determine which irrigation system would be the best option to improve and maintain soil health.

Tune in digitally on 20 May for Paarl and Swartland’s overview of the 2021 wine grape harvest, the effect of Pinotage ripeness on the composition of the grapes, wine and wine style, as well as practical lessons learned on the management of downy and powdery mildew during the past season and the development of wine grapes that are resistant to these two grapevine diseases.

The registration fee for each of the sessions is R150 per person. Those who have registered will receive a link 24 hours before the digital sessions.

Book online at or contact Lesley Paulse at tel 021 276 0432, e-mail


Media enquiries:

Wanda Augustyn

Tel: 021 276 0458



29 March 2021. Lactalis South Africa’s 10-months Mature Gouda, made especially for Woolworths, was crowned the South African Dairy Product of the Year for an unrivalled third time at the South African Dairy Awards on Friday 26 March 2021 at Cavalli Estate near Stellenbosch. This achievement is a first for the SA Dairy Championships, celebrating its 188th year of existence.

The Gouda, an aromatic and full-flavoured cheese, was one of almost 900 dairy products from 68 producers that vied for the attention of the 60 judges. From the big number of entries, only eight were honoured with the Qualité mark of excellence (full list of the crème de la crème below) and 106 – the winners in each championships class – were named SA Champion.

“For a product to be chosen as Dairy Product of the Year in a competition of this nature is the dream of every cheesemaker,” says dairy expert and chief judge Alan Fourie. “That the honour befalls this year’s winner of the prestigious title for the third time, is exceptional. The Woolworths 10-months Mature Gouda truly is a product that has stood the test of time, but also a proof of the continued use of excellent ingredients. Technically and gastronomically it is as close to perfection as a cheese product can come.”

Marek Warzywoda, General Manager: Lactalis South Africa (LSA), says his team is overjoyed at having the choice Extra Mature Gouda named as the Product of the Year for an unprecedented third time. “In addition, this is also the fourth time we’ve claimed the overall top award in five years. Team LSA’s hard work, dedication and ambition to produce top quality products have once again paid off. We are immensely proud of our 2021 SA Dairy Championships performance.”

Warzywoda also complimented Agri-Expo on organising “yet another successful SA Dairy Championships and Awards”.


 The SA Dairy Championships has been presented by Agri-Expo with great success since 1834. According to Johan Ehlers, CEO of Agri-Expo, most important international dairy events worldwide were cancelled in 2020 and postponed in 2021. “The South African Dairy Championships is in fact the only major dairy championships in the world that took place in 2020 and 2021,” says Ehlers. “To make this possible, we had to adjust the judging process to two days and present the awards as a hybrid event.”

According to Ehlers, the large number of entries and extraordinary products entered this year are reasons to be optimistic about the future of the dairy industry in South Africa: “This year’s results testify to an innovative industry and healthy competition between individuals, small and medium businesses, as well as national and international companies.”

Agri-Expo would like to thank the Platinum partner Synercore as well as all the other partners of the SA Dairy Championships for their commitment to the development of the dairy industry, namely AECI Food & Beverage, the Western Cape Department of Agriculture, Condio, Hollard, the Milk Producers’ Organisation (MPO), The Dairy Mail, Woolworths, MANE, Orchem, Polyoak Packaging, IMCD and Tetra Pak.


The SA Dairy Awards can still be viewed at


Clover – Frankfort (2)                                    Mooi River Salted Butter

Clover Salted Butter  Mini Tubs

Lactalis South Africa (Ladismith) (2)        Woolworths Mature Gouda –   10 Months Matured

Président Mature Gouda –  6 months Matured

De Pekelaar Boerenkaas                              De Pekelaar Boerenkaas Old

Famous Brands Cheese Company            Steers Processed Cream Cheese Spread – Onion and Chives

Fairview Cheese Company                          Woolworths Chevin with Garlic and Herb

Fair Cape Dairies                                              Checkers Vanilla Flavoured Custard

For more information and full results please visit or contact Agri-Expo at +27 (0)21 975 4440 or

Social media

Join the conversation on social media with #SADairyChamps #SADairyAwards @AgriExpo1


Isabeau Botha

Corporate Communication Manager


021 975 4440/072 247 5868