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business of wine

ABSA Top 10 Pinotage 2011

The Absa Top 10 Pinotage Competition created much excitement once again this year when the announced 20 finalists were whittled down to the Top 10 award winners.
The announcement was made at a luncheon held at the Webersburg Wine Estate on the slopes of the Helderberg, just outside Stellenbosch, in the Western Cape.

The winners of the 2011 Absa Top 10 competition – in alphabetical order – are:

• Beyerskloof Reserve 2008
• Diemersdal Reserve 2010
• Fairview Primo 2009
• Kanonkop Pinotage 2006
• KWV The Mentor’s Pinotage 2009
• Laibach 2010
• Naledi 2009
• Rijk’s Private Cellar 2007
• Schalk Burger & Sons Meerkat 2009
• Windmeul Reserve 2010.

While some of the well-known icons in the Pinotage world were not among the Top 10 last year, Beyerskloof, Kanonkop and KWV featured strongly among this year’s winners.

At the event, Absa received a special mention for the confidence that the bank has displayed in this varietal over the past 15 years. Special attention was also paid to the 15 years during which this competition has become one of the most popular in South Africa. During this time Pinotage, as a variety, has shown enormous growth.

At the luncheon to announce the winners, Bobby Malabie, Chief Executive of Absa Business Bank, said: “Absa is again honoured to be the main sponsor of the Absa Top 10 Pinotage competition, in partnership with the Pinotage Association, to promote uniquely South African wine made from Pinotage grapes.”

He said this was not only an occasion to celebrate the success of the 2011 winners, but also a 15 year milestone of this exciting competition and partnership. “Its highly respected reputation has encouraged winemakers every year to do their utmost to be one of the Top 10 winners.”

Malabie added that the recognition which the Top 10 winemakers and producers receive each year through this prestigious competition serves as motivation for other winemakers. This, in turn, has further elevated the profile of Pinotage amongst wine lovers.

The chairperson of the Pinotage Association, Beyers Truter, thanked Absa for many years of loyal support. “Absa was there with us at the beginning, and has shared our enthusiasm and vision and helped us for 15 years to lead this variety to new heights,” Truter said.

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