A double gold for the Bonnievale Chardonnay 2016 in the Michelangelo International Wine & Spirits Awards is just the cherry on top of an exceptional awards year.

We have racked up more than 17 accolades in four highly-regarded national competitions since the start of the year. For the team at the cellar, the achievements are proof that their focus is in the right place.

“The quality of our wines has always been there. What has improved is the insight that enables the production team and our suppliers to adapt techniques and match wine styles with the feedback from our markets,” says chief winemaker Marthinus Rademeyer. “In this way we can ensure top quality wine in a particular style that can be enjoyed by the broadest range of palates.”

It starts with the grapes

The journey to excellent wine begins in the vineyards. Bonnievale’s particular combination of soils, climate and vineyard aspect are ideal for cultivating wine grapes with unique character. With grape suppliers located across the region, Bonnievale Wines’ team is able to cherry pick the best for bottling.

“Quality wine is directly linked to quality grapes, which means success can only be achieved through good co-operation between the winemaking team, viticulturists and grape farmers,” says Rademeyer. “There are no short-cuts.”

Investing in technology

Having selected fruit from choice vineyards, further quality control is applied during vinification. “The winemakers give their specialist input while a grading panel evaluates all wines and styles.

With contribution from the marketing team, the best wine styles are selected and bottled,” he says.

The focus on quality doesn’t wane on the bulk wine production side of the business. Bonnievale Wines has invested in two pH-lowering systems that have dramatically improved efficiencies, and plans to acquire another next year.

Here’s a list of Bonnievale Wines’ most recent champions:

  • Michelangelo International Wine & Spirits Awards: A double gold for Bonnievale Chardonnay 2016
  • Gold Wine Awards: Sushi, Dusk, Dawn, Riggton Red and Riggton Semi-Sweet;
  • Vitis Vinifera gold medal winners: Sauvignon Blanc 2016, Shiraz 2015, Chardonnay 2016, Barrel Select Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 and Sauvignon Blanc Brut;
  • Sommeliers Selection: Shiraz 2014, Sauvignon Blanc 2016, Merlot 2015; and
  • Women’s Wine Awards: Sauvignon Blanc Brut, Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot 2015, Sauvignon Blanc 2016 and Chardonnay 2015.