After enduring a tough four months where they had to close their doors due to the national lockdown, Durbanville Hills winery has found a reason to celebrate after one of their wines was chosen as the world’s best in its category at the 2020 World Sparkling Wine Awards in London.
The locally produced Durbanville Hills Blanc de Blancs, which means white of whites, beat 45 entries from eight countries including France and Italy for the world’s best bottled fermented sparkling wine award at the annual event, which this year was conducted remotely due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Durbanville Hills cellar master Martin Moore said that it was an honour to have received the award.
“If one considers the fast number of sparkling wines made across the globe, this award is an incredible recognition for the quality that South African wines bring to the world stage. Our Blanc de Blanc is made from 100% chardonnay grapes and made in the traditional champagne method of secondary fermentation in the bottle.”
Mr Moore said the grapes used in making the wine benefit from growing in the cool climate, slopes and altitudes of Durbanville.
“Consumers are now more than ever aware of the exceptional quality that South African sparkling wines can offer them, and this award is simply the cherry on top,” he said.
In a statement released by the World Sparkling Wine Awards, the winning wine was praised for its balance and complexity of taste.
The judge’s panel consists of experts from all over the world including the United Kingdom, Netherlands and the United States while the awards celebrate the best batches of whiskey, wine, gin and beer.
The organisers of the awards host events around the world, including the Whiskey Live Festival in Cape Town.
Winning the award will be a huge silver lining for the winery after they suffered heavy financial losses during the lockdown.
Albert Gerber, managing director of Durbanville Hills, said the lockdown has had a negative effect on their business, however, he could not divulge any specific financial details due to Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) regulations.
“Our majority shareholder is a JSE-listed company which is currently in a closed period. Given that, the financial impact of Covid-19 on our business will, as per the rules of the JSE, only be made public at the next update that we will provide to the market.”