Thursday, December 4, 2014


Issued by Marlene Truter Communications on behalf of Veritas Awards

2014 Veritas Young Wine Writer announced: l to r Bennie Howard CWM (Veritas), Daisy Knowles (runner-up), Sandile Mkhwanazi (winner), Christo Pienaar (Veritas)
Photographer: Lionel Besterfield

Sandile Mkhwanazi, a young enthusiastic agricultural scientist who studied Viticulture and Oenology at the Stellenbosch University, was crowned as an exciting new voice in the wine industry and winner of the 2014 Veritas Young Wine Writers Competition today. The South African National Wine Show Association (SANWSA) started this competition last year.

For Sandile, who loves an exciting angle to every story, the fun part of wine is as important as the academic side of it. Keen to bring a vibrant and dynamic dialogue on all matters wine-related, Sandile said, “I’ve always liked to reflect wine as a fun part of life, not an academic study.”

Sandile’s two articles, The South African Wine Industry after 20 years of Democracy: An Overview of What Happened and with Special Reference to how we can Kick Start the Stagnant Local Market, as well as the more fun outlook with The Best Value Wine That I have tasted in 2014, have impressed the panel of judges with its wit, insight and enthusiasm.

Sandile is currently working at Elsenburg Agricultural College as assistant winemaker and acting viticulturist. He has a BSc. Viticulture and Oenology degree from the Stellenbosch University.
Runner-up in the competition, Daisy Knowles, a personal assistant to a Private Investor/co-Director of a private investment company, has an extensive knowledge and appreciation for wine. She has done various wine courses at the University of Stellenbosch, the Wine & Spirit Education Trust and the Cape Wine Academy. Daisy’s views in her blog on The Best Value Wines was entertaining, well-informed and persuasive.
According to the panel of distinguished South African wine writers – Dave Hughes, David Biggs, Samarie Smith, Neil Pendock, Cathryn Henderson, Danie Keet and Edo Heyns – the standard for this year’s competition was extremely high.
“There was a clear distinction between those writers who presented grown up, well-balanced work and those putting the emphasis on poetic descriptions. An important requirement in our world today is the ability to understand the more serious, realistic business side of the wine industry and to clearly communicate that without neglecting the romantic side of it. This balance clearly distinguishes between the good and the bad.”

“We would like to congratulate Sandile and Daisy for their creative contribution and hope this will help to cultivate a culture of wine interest and knowledge in a new generation of readers and consumers and motivate more young people to become wine writers,” says Charles Hopkins, Chairman of SANWSA.

The Veritas Young Wine Writers Competition, presented by the SA National Wine Show Association (SANWSA), aims to identify exciting new individuals within and outside the wine industry who can clearly communicate the wine message innovatively thereby generating increased public interest in all aspects of responsible wine enjoyment.

As the winner of the Veritas Young Wine Writers Competition, Sandile receives a cash prize of R15 000. Runner-up Daisy Knowles receives R7 500.

For more information, contact or tel 021 863 1599.

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