Big in Japan – a Golden Duo for De Grendel in SAKURA Japan Women’s Wine Awards

DE Grendel Viognier 2019 and Merlot 2017 earned a pair of Gold medals in the 2020 AKURA Japan Women’s Wine Awards, a unique competition that evaluates wines from around the world from a woman’s perspective.

Now in its 7th edition, the SAKURA awards were judged on blind tasting by 560 Japanese female wine professionals – winemakers, sommeliers, buyers, educators and journalists – evaluating over 4 300 wines from 29 countries. Only about half of the entries earned a Double Gold, Gold or Silver medal.

“Japan is an important, and growing market for us and supports our planned growth in exports. Earning awards like this helps to position our wines in a highly competitive market and puts them directly in front of the Japanese consumer in traditional and online wine supermarkets and specialist wine stores,” De Grendel’s marketing manager, Righard Theron, said.

De Grendel cellar master Charles Hopkins welcomed the international recognition for De Grendel’s much-loved, classically elegant Merlot and the fragrant and food-friendly Viognier.

Smooth and well-rounded, with delicate berry notes and alluring aromas of aniseed, cedar and liquorice, De Grendel Merlot 2017 is an ideal wine for a Sunday lamb roast and will reward ageing up to five years.

De Grendel Viognier 2019 is rich and intensely aromatic with florals and ripe peaches, apricots and dried pineapple following through to the palate, complemented by soft buttery oak barrel flavours. Crisp and fresh, it will mellow into creamy richness over the next three years, and is a great partner with rich pasta, chicken and pork dishes.

The competition’s highest award, the Diamond Trophy, and special Grand Prix awards, will be announced in March at Foodex Japan 2020, where all the awarded wines will be on show.

De Grendel’s award-winning wines are available for tasting at the De Grendel Tasting Room, and for purchase at the estate and online at, as well as from major retailers countrywide.