On Monday, 7 December, the winner of the Veritas Young Wine Writers Competition 2015 was unveiled at Neethlingshof near Stellenbosch. Malu Lambert, a freelance food and wine journalist from Cape Town, walked away with the prestigious title this year.
Although a relatively new name in wine circles, Lambert boasts an impressive CV having written for among others Good Taste, Food & Home, Sunday Times, Classic Wine and more.
She also owns a story-telling agency, Fable, has achieved Level 3 in WSET and recently ventured into wine judging. She received prize-money of R15 000 and the runner-up, Danielle Jacobs, R7 500. Furthermore, their winning pieces will be presented to various leading print media for publication.
Malu captured the judges' imagination with her article on the prescribed title for the competition this year: “The rise of Mediterranean and lesser-known grape varieties in South Africa, and how this trend is likely to develop in the future”. In addition to the article, participants also had to submit a more informal, conversational blog entry. Here too, she impressed the panel with her entertaining take on the topic: “The most unusual white and red wine that I have tasted over the past two years”.
Malu recounted her discovery of a wild-fermented Shiraz-Viognier blend that was matured in amphorae (clay vessels), and displayed a myriad of interesting flavours. Danielle, a graduate in B.Agric Cellar Technology at Elsenburg, shared her tricky encounters with the unusual red grape variety Tannat, and a Chardonnay-Chenin Blanc white port that she had to make as part of her practical harvest component at the agricultural college.
The judging panel consisting of influential South African wine writers David Biggs, Cathryn Henderson, Edo Heyns, Dave Hughes, Danie Keet and Neil Pendock were unanimous in their praise for Lambert's witty, inviting and personal writing style. According to the judges the standard for this year’s competition was excellent, with many well-researched and carefully considered entries submitted.
The Veritas Young Wine Writers Competition, now in its third year, presented by the SA National Wine Show Association (SANWSA), aims to identify exciting new voices from within and outside the wine industry who can communicate the message of wine enjoyment in a novel and thought-provoking way, thereby stimulating a culture of wine interest and growing a greater following of devotees for South African wine.
For more information, contact the Veritas office via email email@example.com or tel 021 863