Wine producers from the Overberg once again made us proud when the 2021 Platter’s by Diners Club SA Wine Guide announced South Africa’s winning wineries and 5-star wines last week. No less than 14 local producers were awarded the coveted Platter’s 5-star seal of approval. 

“2020 was, to say the least, incredibly challenging for the South African wine industry,” said the publisher of Platter’s by Diners Club, Jean-Pierre Rossouw, “and the after-effects of the prohibition will be with us for some time to come. But, as the results in the 2021 Wine Guide will show, the quality of our wines and the progressive energy of our winemaking teams cannot be denied.”

Taking top honours in the 2021 Platter’s Wine Guide is Kleine Zalze Wine Estate, situated just outside Stellenbosch, which produced seven 5-star-winning wines and was awarded the title of Top Winery of the Year. De Trafford Wines (also in Stellenbosch) and Sadie Family Wines (Malmesbury) each secured six 5-star ratings. Noticeable mention was given to Alheit Vineyards, situated in Hemel-en-Aarde, which produced five 5-star wines: Cartology 2019, Magnetic North 2019, Hemelrand Vine Garden 2019, Lost & Found 2019, and Nautical Dawn 2019.

Two other local wineries each produced three 5-star wines – Oak Valley in Elgin (South Ridge CY548 Chardonnay 2017, Chardonnay Groenlandberg 2019, and South Ridge CY95 Chardonnay 2017) and Newton Johnson in Hemel-en-Aarde (Pinot Noir 2019, Windandsea Pinot Noir 2019 and Chardonnay 2019). Also located in Hemel-en-Aarde, Bartho Eksteen’s two flagship wines, Vloekskoot 2019 and Houtskool 2019 were both 5-star winners, as were two Restless River wines (Main Road & Dignity 2017 and Ava Marie 2018), two produced by Storm Wines (Vrede Pinot Noir 2019 and Ignis Pinot Noir 2019) and two by Crystallum (Cuvée Cinéma 2019 and Mabalel 2019). Beaumont Family Wines in Botrivier was again awarded five stars for Hope Marguerite 2019 and Vitruvian 2017.

Joining the 2021 Platter’s five-star list are Bouchard Finlayson’s Tête de Cuvée Pinot Noir 2019 (Hemel-en-Aarde), Lomond’s Pincushion Sauvignon Blanc 2019 (Cape Agulhas), Shannon Vineyards’ Mount Bullet Merlot 2017 (Elgin), Strandveld Vineyards’ Pofadderbos Sauvignon Blanc 2019 (Cape Agulhas), Wildekrans’s Cape Blend 2017 (Botrivier) and Thorne & Daughters’ Rocking Horse 2019 (Botrivier).

For the past 40 years, the Platter’s Wine Guide has been regarded by discerning wine connoisseurs as the top authority on South African wines. Star ratings are determined by a points system ranging from 0 to 100. According to JP Rossouw, sighted tastings of more than 9 000 wines were conducted over a few months and only wines that scored 93 points and above proceeded to a second round of blind tastings by a small panel of experts. Making Platter’s annual 5-star wine list is regarded as one of the greatest achievements in the industry. 

After having suffered heavy losses this year due to the impact of the prohibition on the sale of alcohol, as well as the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions on the hospitality and tourism industries, the announcement of the latest Platter’s 5-star ratings was welcomed by our embattled wineries.

Bartho Eksteen posted his reaction on Facebook: Wow! A year of exceptional highs and heartbreaking lows. We’ve been hit by the greatest blow our industry has seen since Phylloxera, during lockdown. It all became a little sweeter with the news of our two flagship Sauvignon Blancs receiving some of the highest honours in the country!

Beaumont Family Wines also announced that they were “jumping with joy!” Fantastic news! Beaumont has won two Platter 5 stars this year! Beaumont Hope Marguerite 2019 has cemented her place at the top with another 5-star vintage. Our Vitruvian blend has also been awarded its first ever 5 stars… this is a huge moment for the whole team at Beaumont Family Wines. Well done to the @wineonaplatter team and tasters for making this happen in such challenging times.

The complete Platter’s South African Wine Guide 2021 is expected to be on shelves in December.

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