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The Cape Town leg of the South African Wine Tasting Championships attracted more competitors than ever, all eager to win the coveted title of Best Western Cape Provincial wine taster, alongside the chance to qualify for the National Final where Team South Africa will be selected to fly the National colours at the World Blind Wine-Tasting Championship in France in October.

Out of a panel of wines presented by some of the most innovative South African wineries, Spioenkop, Creation, Oldenburg, Rivendell, Spice Route, Marianne, Edgebaston and Steenberg, the competitors had to identify 10 wines served in anonymous decanters.

A natural great palate memory, and a talent to remember flavours are often more useful than a deep theoretical wine knowledge, and it was great to see emerging wine lovers perform very well at this difficult challenge.

The best of all the Provincial tasters (Cape Town, Gauteng & Durban) will be invited to the National Final in September to decide who will make it to Team South Africa going to France. Team SA will consist of 4 members; 1 Mosaic contestant, and 3 others.  The National Final will be a blind round of 12 anonymous wines which the contestants will have to identify, as per the world championship rules. 

The 2015 Cape Town Top 10 Provincial Tasters are (in order from 1 to 10)
- Ralph Reynolds
- Chris Groenewald
- Tawanda Marume
- Marlwyn Gwese
- Francois Cillié
- Alex Brodbeck
- Joseph Dhafana
- Anita Streicher Nel
- Gavin Whittaker
- Pieter du Toit, Pearl Oliver and Ndaba Dube in a tie break of point for the 10th position. 

Depending on the scores of the in Gauteng and Durban competitors, the best of this short list will qualify for the national final, competing to secure their seat to the world championship. 

The level of the 2015 Cape Town championship was very high, and the busy attendance was motivated by the fun part of wine tasting, as much as the serious drive of competitors to achieve high marks.

The Restaurant Mosaic Protégé Programme was a success with more than 10 young emerging wine tasters willing to be selected by this famous restaurant for their 3 year bursary aimed at training the future best sommelier of South Africa. The Winterhalter Wine Challenge dedicated to award Cape Town’s best wine stewards was fully booked and the results will be released early in July. 

The story continues for our best wine tasters, and the best of the best will be in Chateauneuf du Pape on the 17th of October to fight against the rest of the world for the SA national colours!

South Africa’s got wine tasting talents; and they will prove it to the rest of the world.

For more information and to keep up with pics and stories - visit or the Spotlight Page

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David Finlayson and Pieter van der Merwe looking for Diamonds in the Rough
David Finlayson, the owner of Edgebaston, the home of Finlayson Family Wines, and co-winemaker Pieter Van Der ...
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