Franschhoek, Tuesday 14 March 2023
For the first time in its history, the Concours Mondial du Sauvignon will take place outside Europe. The fourteenth CMS by Concours Mondial de Bruxelles opens today in the village of Franschhoek, located in the Cape West Coast sub-region, approximately 75 kilometres from Cape Town, South Africa. Over three days, 50 professional judges, including journalists, winemakers and buyers from across 4 continents and 19 nationalities will be evaluating no fewer than 1,210 wines made from the Sauvignon blanc grape variety – an all-time high for entries. In addition to the tastings, they will discover the incredible diversity and breath-taking scenery across the region through conferences, visits and opportunities for engagement with the local industry.
Hosting a Sauvignon blanc competition in South Africa is no accident. Sauvignon is the best-selling varietal in the domestic market – with 14.3 million litres in 2022 – and the most exported, at 67.7 million litres. The rainbow nation ranks eighth among the world’s largest wine producing countries, ahead of Germany and Portugal, and after Australia, Chile and Argentina. Wine production in South Africa is estimated to have been 10.6 million hectolitres in 2022. This is after volumes recovered in 2021 after the drought which seriously impacted the country’s wine production for several consecutive years. South Africa ranks as the world’s sixth largest wine exporter. In 2022, exports stood at 3.7 mhl by volume and at R9.9 bn (€506 m) by value.
“This is a dream come true!”
RJ Botha, Chairman of Sauvignon Blanc South Africa
“We started negotiations four years ago with Quentin Havaux, Director of the Concours Mondial du Sauvignon. After months and months of discussions, bringing partners on board, and making almost impossible plans, we are reaping the fruit of our labour. It’s here. It’s now. What a wonderful opportunity for our cultivar organisation, our wine industry, and our country, to showcase our resilience, excellence and Mzansi* magic.”
*An affectionate informal way of describing South Africa and its people
South Africa’s long-standing history of winegrowing
South Africa is often ranked among the New World wine producing countries, even though its history of growing vines actually dates back to the 17th century when the first governor of the Cape, Jan van Riebeeck, planted a vineyard and made the country’s first wines in 1659. The introduction of Sauvignon to South Africa can be less precisely dated but it is known that Sauvignon vines were planted at the highly lauded Groot Constantia estate in the late 1880s. According to Sauvignon Blanc South Africa, the first commercial Sauvignon varietal wine was produced by Verdun (now Asara) in 1977, with Backsberg and De Wetshof entering the fray in 1980. The oldest existing Sauvignon vineyards (planted in 1965) can be found at Spice Route’s Klein Amoskuil in the Swartland. Curently, Sauvignon holds a 12.2% share of total area under vine in South Africa and is the second-most planted grape in the country, irrespective of colour.
Facts and figures for the 2023 CMS vintage
The Concours Mondial du Sauvignon continues to be dominated by France with 40% of wines entered by the French. It is followed by another usual suspect in the Sauvignon arena – Austria with 225 wines entered (18.6%). Our host country is similarly well represented with nearly 13% of entries, which is a record number for South Africa. Italy and New Zealand complete the top five line-up of participating countries. For the first time this year, each participant will receive an aroma wheel for their wines.
Awards ceremony at ProWein on Monday 20 March 2023 at 1pm – Hall 1, Room 14, CCD South
Results published on www.cmsauvignon.com
About the organisers
Organisation of the competition is handled by the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles which is tasked with the technical organisation of the tastings and brings the professionalism and independence associated with major international competitions. The competition is organised under the auspices of the cultivar group Sauvignon Blanc South Africa in partnership with international and South African industry stakeholders.
Pictures available on Concours Mondial du Sauvignon 2023
Press contact :
Tel : +32(0)498610680