Du Toitskloof Sponsors SA’s Leading Wine Writing Competition

Entries for South Africa’s richest wine writing competition are now officially open. The Du Toitskloof SA Wine Writer Competition, in association with Standard Bank, invites wine writers who have over the past year published at least one article in print or on-line to submit entries before or on the closing date of 30 September 2015.

This is the third year the competition is held, with the writer of the winning piece once again pocketing R30 000.

According to Marius Louw, CEO of Du Toitskloof Wines, this year’s theme asks participants to look into the crystal ball and predict what the South African wine industry will look like 20 years from now.

“One of the features of today’s wine industry which has been written on extensively by local and international commentators, is the vast changes that have taken place in the industry over the past two decades,” says Louw. “With this in mind, for this year’s wine writing competition we would like to see entrants predicting what they deem to be an industry scenario for 2035.

“Change has characterised the industry over the past 20 years. Exports have increased. The number of wineries and brands have grown beyond belief. Certain grape varieties and wine styles have fallen out of fashion, replaced by the new. Bulk wine has become a major force. Overall, exciting times.

“Now, what lies ahead for the next two decades? This is what the Du Toitskloof Wine Writer of the Year Competition, in association with Standard Bank, would like to hear your views on. In an article of between 1 500 and 2000 words, sketch a scenario for SA Wine Industry 2035. There are no restrictions as to the features you wish to discuss – it could be the proliferation of one grape variety or wine style, or your piece could include various aspects as diverse as local consumption, untapped export markets and new wine styles.

“Or, what about the Government’s pending legislation restricting liquor consumption as well as the challenges surrounding land reform? This is a chance to let your imagination run free, using your experience of the changes the industry has undergone since 1995.”

Willie du Plessis, head of Standard Bank’s Business Banking in the Western Cape, associate sponsors of the competition, says the theme is particularly relevant in light of the challenges the South African wine industry faces on various fronts.

“It will be fascinating to read the views the entrants of the competition have on the future state of the South African wine industry,” he says. “The industry has changed hand-over-fist over the past 20 years, and due to its dynamic nature, nobody can truly predict how it will look two decades from now. But I am sure the imaginative and insightful team of South African wine writers will have an interesting time trying to do so.

“As an organisation which makes use of scenario planning, Standard Bank looks forward to these entries and the insights they will no doubt offer.”

Besides the winner receiving a check for R30 000, the best pieces will be published in various local publications.

This year’s judges are Gabriël Botma, from the University of Stellenbosch’s Department of Journalism, Ian Glenn, former head of UCT’s Media Studies Department, Ingrid Jones, experienced journalist and currently editor of Mango Juice magazine and Joan Hambidge, well-known poet, novelist and literary critic who teaches creative writing at UCT.

Further details can be found at www.dutoitskloof.co.za under the heading Wine Writers Competition.

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