Wine clubs from across South Africa are invited to try their hands at the art of wine blending in the 37th edition of the keenly contested Blaauwklippen Blending Competition.

Online entries open on 1 April 2020 until the end of May for South Africa’s longest-running wine blending competition, an annual challenge to wine enthusiasts to impress the estate’s winemaker Narina Cloete and fellow judges with their own special blend of Blaauwklippen wines.

This year, she has laid down the challenge to create a “fashionable, yet classic” blend from three of the five traditional Bordeaux varietals (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot), with Shiraz in the mix to “add some interesting character”.

“Blends are a much-loved category of red wine, with so many possibilities and so much variation in character and style. The competition gives wine lovers the opportunity to get hands-on in exploring the enigma of blending – a combination of science and art that captures the strengths of each varietal to create a wine that is greater than the sum of its parts,” Cloete said.

In addition to the trophy, the winning club earns recognition on the label of a limited-edition magnum release of their blend bottled and sold by Blaauwklippen.

The blending trophy is hotly contested by wine clubs from around the country, with 76 clubs entering last year and winners over the years coming from almost every province. The competition is open only to amateurs – no winemakers may enter.

Entrants are supplied with a kit of wines from Blaauwklippen, measuring vessels, specifications on the use of the varietals and a brief on the final product.

Entries are made up in the Blaauwklippen cellar according to each team’s formula and tasted blind by the judging panel which consists of some of the nation’s most astute wine personalities, as well as Blaauwklippen winemaker, Narina Cloete.

 

Important dates for this year’s competition:

1-31 May: Online entries are open.
Blending kits available for collection or sending to entrants. Dates will be confirmed based on the progress of lockdown restrictions.
1-30 June: Window for entrants to upload their recipes.
July: Judging.
September/October: Awards lunch and winner announcement (date to be confirmed).

Entry forms and more information are available on the Blaauwklippen website - https://www.blaauwklippen.com/bbc-registration/

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