The National Wine Challenge 2018

Top 100 SA Wines According to The National Wine Challenge 2018

The National Wine Challenge 2018

The National Wine Challenge 2018 Awards Celebration took place on May 16th for the purpose of naming the top SA wines in terms of cultivar and blend. The wines receiving the top scores were awarded medals. See all winners here: 

Awards were given in the following categories:

  • Grand Cru 1st place
  • Double Platinum
  • Double Gold
  • Double Silver

Once those awards were given, they identified the SA wines that received the 100 highest scores, to form the elite “Top 100 SA Wines of 2018.” This is an exclusive club of the finest wines that South Africa has to offer.

Having enjoyed eight successful years, The National Wine Challenge 2018 has growing support. The event is now recognized by commentators worldwide and continues to build a loyal following of wine connoisseurs.

The Consistency Results for Wines and Vineyards, are often hotly contested. Receiving such an award shows that the vineyard has reached the pinnacle in terms of quality, which takes many years of commitment to achieve.

Wines that meet the strict performance requirements can qualify to receive:

  • 1st Prize, Grand Cru – Highest score in terms of cultivar or blend
  • Top 100 Status, Double Platinum – The 100 wines receiving the highest scores
  • Double Gold – Wines that received high scores of 87 – 91 points
  • Double Silver – Wines that received well scores of 83 – 87 points
  • Award for Vineyard Consistency – Wines have the most wins in past eight years
  • Award for Wine Consistency – A single wine with the most wins in past eight years


Alvi’s Drift was awarded with the following:

  • Albertus Viljoen Bismarck 2015 | Double Platinum in the Top 100 2018
  • Albertus Viljoen Bismarck 2016 | Grand Cru National Champion Best in Class Top 100 2018/ Double Platinum in the Top 100 2018
  • Alvi’s Drift Verreaux Pinotage 2015 | Double Platinum in the Top 100 2018
  • Alvi’s Drift Verreaux Pinotage 2016 | Double Gold Award in the Top 100 2018
  • Alvi’s Drift Alvi’s Drift Thornlands Chardonnay Pinot Noir n/v Brut MCC | Double Gold Award in the Top 100 2018
  • Alvi’s Drift Reserve CVC 2016 | Double Gold Awards in the Top 100 2017
  • Alvi’s Drift Reserve Chardonnay 2017 | Double Gold Award in the Top 100 2018
  • Alvi’s Drift Reserve Drift Fusion 2014 | Double Gold Award in the Top 100 2018
  • Alvi’s Drift Reserve Drift Fusion 2015 | Double Platinum in the Top 100 2018 / Grand Cru National Champion Best in Class Top 100 2018
  • Alvi’s Drift Reserve Drift Fusion 2016 | Double Platinum in the Top 100 2018


By winning a Vineyard Consistency award, Alvis Drift was recognized as among the cellars with the most wins over the past eight years.

Chairing the The National Wine Challenge 2018 was Greg Sherwood MW, SA wine champion and celebrated international wine expert.


The panel of judges:


Greg Sherwood MW, United Kingdom

Greg Sherwood MW is a South African Master of Wine based in London and is a Fine Wine Buyer Handford Wines, a wine shop in South Kensington. In addition to judging the National Wine Challenge Top 100 and SA Top 100, he judges the WOSA World Sommelier Awards, Nederburg Wine Auction, and the Decanter World Wine Awards. It can easily be said that each week Greg has the honour of tasting hundreds of the finest wines in the world. If you’re lucky enough to take a wine safari with Greg, you might encounter some unicorns! Greg just enjoyed his seventh year judging the NWC/Top 100.


Duncan Savage, South Africa

Duncan left the rat race for an adventure in the “Pursuit of Savage.” Having been Cape Point Vinyards’ winemaker, he proudly introduced his own wine label in 2011, with the goal of producing classically elegant wines. His wines have received recognition both locally and globally, with a number of 5-star ratings in Wine Magazine and the Platter’s Guide. They’ve also received several Wine Spectator ratings of 90+. Duncan just enjoyed his seventh year judging the NWC/Top 100.


Ginette De Fleuriot CWM, South Africa

Ginette de Fleuriot is a well known Cape Wine Master who is also works for Vinimark Wine as its Marketing Manager. Her wine career began in Germany where she worked in a wine shop, held educational wine classes and worked as a freelance journalist. As a Cape Wine Academy lecturer, she also writes for the Platter Wine Guide. Ginette has been a wine judge for Best Value Wine Guide, SAA Wine Selection Panel, Nederburg Auction Selection panel, Veritas, and Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show.


Matthew Day, South Africa

Matt graduated in 2007 from Stellenbosch University having earned a degree in Viticulture and Oenology. He interned at Meerlust and then went on to harvesting grapes in the Barossa Valley, Bordeau and Napa. In 1009 he started working as an assistant winemaker for Klein Constantia, and became fully responsible for the cellar three years later in 2012. He follows his philosophy of “keeping it simple by intervening as little as possible so the wine can express itself.” When he’s not making wine he spends his time mountain biking, playing canoe polo, running and being with his daughter.


Richard Kershaw MW, South Africa

Having grown up in the United Kingdom, Richard travelled the world before making South Africa his home in 1999 as a full time winemaker. South Africa’s singular winemaking Master of Wine and just one of 10 Masters of Wine, making their own wine, Richard is in a great deal of demand. He has judged many prestigious wine competitions across the world and also taken part in the Institute of Masters of Wine educational panel, holds lectures for the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) in South Africa, and generously shares his knowledge of wine with consumers and students through his blogs, talks and tastings.


JD Pretorius, South Africa

JD graduated in 2007 from the University of Stellenbosch with a BSc degree in Viticulture and Oenology. He then went on to work as a cellar hand for Beyerskloof, then as a harvest supervisor for Graham Beck Wines. After working in Sonoma for Stonestreet Wines he joined the team at Steenberg in 2009 as Winemaker. Five years later JD was honored to win Young Winemaker of the Year in 2014. Soon after he was promoted to Steenberg Cellar Master. Having judged the OMTS, he has plenty of practical experience assessing wines.


Wayve Kolvesohn, South Africa

Born in Cape Town, Wayne went to London after graduating from the Cape Town Hotel School, which is where she started her career at Chez Bruce, a well-known Michelin starred restaurant. After completing a post-graduate degree in wine studies at London Wine & Spirit School and WSET she returned to South Africa and landed a job at Le Quartier Francais as restaurant manager. From there she moved onto The Tasting Room and then became Head Sommelier in Cape Town’s The Test Kitchen. In 2015 Wayve went off to the Maldives to work Cheval Blanc Randheli, a LVMH private resort, as Head Sommelier. Most recently she joined Fable Mountain Vineyards to complete her first harvest internship and now works for Ex Animo Wine Company as Western Cape Manager.



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