The South African Wine Index (SAWI) started out in 2009 and produces a guide for South African wines that have been tasted blind. Results are entered into an algorithm which spits out a value out of 100. SAWI aims to take the subjectivity of many wine competitions and rating systems out of the equation and help consumers when choosing a quality wine from shelves filled with a variety of labels. The SAWI award function takes place annually at Grootbos, situated about 40 kilometers from Hemel-en-Aarde. Grootbos sponsors the award ceremony and also linked with SAWI to offer the range of wines that scored 93 and higher in the SAWI index.
The Hemel-en-Aarde Area received the most regional awards this year and walked away with 14 winners. The iconic Hamilton Russell Vineyards Chardonnay received 99 points and not surprisingly the award for the top Chardonnay.
The Hamilton Russell Vineyards Pinot noir and Bouchard Finlayson Galpin Peak Pinot noir scored 97. Galpin Peak won as the Top Pinot noir. Bouchard Finlayson shared the podium for most Grand Gold and Platinum awards with Cedarberg Private Cellar and their Hannibal was named SAWI’s 2014 Top Red Blend. JC and Carolyn Martin’s Creation wines wines did well by receiving 3 Grand Golds and a Platinum Award for its Syrah Grenache blend.
These awards add to the list of acknowledgements bestowed on the wines produced in the Hemel-en-Aarde Area.