About the Show

The Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show is South Africa’s premier wine competition, identifying the very best Cape wines, recognising the achievements of the country's winemakers, and honouring excellence in the wine industry.

Old Mutual, headline sponsor of the competition since its inception in 2002, sees great value in a process which identifies the country’s top wines and makes this information available to the South African wine drinking public. Discernment of future value is a key component of the investment side of Old Mutual’s business, locally and internationally, so the process by which the show’s judges approach the task of sifting through the more than 1000 wines entered annually resonates with the country’s financial services group. Recognising the importance of the rigour which goes into the Show’s judging methodology, Old Mutual presents the top wines to some 1500 wine enthusiasts at Public Tastings in Cape Town and Johannesburg within a fortnight of the results being announced.

Old Mutual’s support of the competition makes it possible for the show’s organisers to assemble the very best international judges to share their views and expertise with the local panelists, and to ensure that international aesthetic criteria form part of the message the competition shares with the industry – both through its results, but also in the feedback session which follows the judging.

The Show’s rules and guidelines are detailed in the entry kit and cover certification requirements, the market-readiness of the wines and the composition of the blends.

The 2020 Show results will be announced at an awards function on 2 June. Results will also be available immediately on the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show website. The digital information will be accessible via the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show app on PCs and all mobile devices. This allows smart-phone and mobile device users to access the key information needed to optimise their wine-purchasing decisions (at restaurants and wine merchants) for the year ahead.

The judging panel has been chaired by leading wine authority Michael Fridjhon since the inception of the show. The panel comprises three international judges and at least six local judges covering a broad range of expertise.

A team of associate panelists is drawn from the pool of rising South African wine-making, wine marketing and wine-writing talent who qualified via the Wine Judging Academy, run in conjunction with the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business.

The participation of the associates ensures that the next generation of the country’s wine judges gains experience in this most rigorous of environments. A different associate judge sits with each panel on each of the medal-judging days of the show. They participate in the tasting and the post-judging discussion, though their scores are not necessarily taken into account in the final tally.

Event partners American Express, Grande Roche Hotel, Nestlé Pure Life, Makro, Miele and Riedel enjoy naming rights in respect of some of the trophies. Since the 2010 event, the Chenin Blanc trophy has been named after the late Harold Eedes, who, as publisher of Wine Magazine in the 1990s, played a key role in South Africa’s Chenin Blanc renaissance. In 2012 the Trophy for Best Cape Port was named after the late Tony Mossop CWM.