As I was traveling in the first week of September, I was unable to attend the Blaauwklippen Blending  Competition, having attended many of the competition events over the years, always a fun and educational lunch at the Stellenbosch wine estate.

Without a track record of a previous entry or finalist status in the Blaauwklippen Blending Competition, the Western Cape based Kelderhof Winos winetasting club won the 2017 Blending Competition, with its blend of 8% Zinfandel, 15% Cabernet Franc, 30% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot, and 40% Shiraz. Not only did the club win the 2017 honours, but it was also named the ‘Newcomer of the Year’.  The Club won wine as well as glassware from Vitria.

The Club also has the honour of having its wine made up in 750ml (R112) and in Magnum (R230) bottles, and will be sold at the Blaauwklippen Tasting Room, from selected retailers, and online from

Three of the four finalist wine clubs were from the Western Cape: Kelderhof Winos, Business Time, and Wine Geeks, joined by Outlander from Gauteng.  A total of 84 wine clubs entered the Blending Competition. 

Blaauwklippen MD and Cellar Master Rolf Zeitvogel explained the 2017 Blending Competition logistics as follows: ‘We challenged the clubs to produce a serious, well-structured red blend, with ageing potential, consisting of Zinfandel 2016, Cabernet Franc 2016, Merlot 2016, Petit Verdot 2016 and Shiraz 2016. All five of these cultivars had to be used in the final blend and all the wines, which are marked for use in the Blaauwklippen Vineyard Selection range. The Zinfandel was limited to a maximum of 10% of the blends, while the Cabernet Franc was limited to not more than 40% of the total blend’. 

He added: ‘Each year we are surprised by the popularity of this battle we created for amateur wine tasters and lovers and this year was no exception with a rise of 16% in entries! This is proof that we have a winning recipe, the true art of tasting and blending wines, sharing it with local and international amateur wine lovers and in the process educating while everyone is having fun‘. This was the 34th year of hosting the Blaauwklippen Blending Competition. 

Judges for this year’s Blending Competition were Blaauwklippen winemaker Narina Cloete, Mark Norrish, Clive Torr, Lidia de Coito, Guy McDonald and Karen Glanfield.

Blaauwklippen Vineyards. R44, Stellenbosch. Tel (021) 880-0136 Twitter: @Blaauwklippen Instagram: @blaauwklippen

Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein Instagram: @Chris_Ulmenstein