The 2016 Decanter World Wine Awards held in the UK really liked this chardonnay
Businesswoman Wendy Appelbaum‚ who helped South Africa’s poor and her own farmworkers last year by funding a successful legal challenge against garnishee orders and loan sharks‚ has won an international award for her chardonnay wine.
The DeMorgenzon Chardonnay Reserve 2015 was named best in the world this week by the 2016 Decanter World Wine Awards held in the UK. The Stellenbosch’s DeMorgenzon Estate trounced all comers by winning Platinum: Best in Show Chardonnay over £15.
The same wine also won a regional trophy for best Stellenbosch Chardonnay at the prestigious International Wine Challenge (IWC)‚ also judged in London by a worldwide team of wine experts in April.
Appelbaum‚ DeMorgenzon’s owner‚ said she was delighted at the international recognition for her wine. “You have no idea how exciting it is … no idea! Everyone likes to know they’re doing well but this is something quite exceptional‚” she said.
Overall‚ wines from Chile and France led the field in the most prestigious category of the 2016 Decanter World Wine Awards‚ taking six and nine of the ‘platinum – best in show‘ medals. Out of nearly 16‚000 wines tasted‚ only 31 reached the top-tier‚ previously known as international trophies.
Wines were judged blind by 240 of the world’s best palates‚ including 69 Masters of Wine and 26 Master Sommeliers‚ during one week at London’s Tobacco Dock. Platinum winners went forward to a special tasting at Decanter headquarters to decide best in show prizes.
DeMorgenzon said in a statement: “To place the Decanter win in context: the DeMorgenzon Reserve Chardonnay 2015 was rated the best South African Chardonnay versus its local competitors but was then assessed versus the best of Australia‚ New Zealand‚ France‚ America‚ Argentina‚ Chile and all other wine producing nations – and beat them too.”
Appelbaum praised DeMorgenzon winemaker and general manager Carl van der Merwe: “Carl is a wonderfully talented winemaker. We’re proud of our wine and even more proud of Carl. We work really well together and share a common vision of excellence.”
Van der Merwe commented: “It’s remarkable because this is only the third commercial release of the Chardonnay Reserve from DeMorgenzon.” DeMorgenzon Estate was purchased by Wendy and Hylton Appelbaum in 2003.
She has served as a director of Liberty Investors Limited and Deputy Chairman of both Wiphold (the first women’s controlled JSE listed company) and the Connection Group Ltd. Currently she is a trustee of The Tribune Trust and director of black empowerment company Sphere Holdings Ltd.
A well-known philanthropist‚ Wendy Appelbaum is a director of the Wits Donald Gordon Medical Centre‚ the Donald Gordon Foundation‚ CHOC (Children’s Haemophilia & Oncology Clinic) and the Helen Suzman Foundation. In addition‚ she serves on Harvard University's Women's Leadership Board and of the International Women's Forum (IWF).
Hylton Appelbaum is a founding member of the Kagiso Trust and a director of its subsidiary‚ Kagiso Media Limited. In addition he is a director of Learning Channel‚ chairman of the Mindset Network‚ Executive Trustee of the Donald Gordon Foundation‚ director of the Synergos Institute‚ a council member of the University of the Witwatersrand‚ member of the Price Waterhouse Coopers social responsibility board and a trustee of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund.