Today the competition is unrecognisable compared to how it was fifteen years ago. Australian wine is less obviously “sunshine in a bottle,” Kiwi wine is more confident, Cape wine less tentative and the submissions from the Americas – especially but not exclusively in the classes for which they are known beyond their borders – are breathtaking in their intensity and finesse. Who – ten years ago – would have thought that the 2019 show’s best fizz would come from Canada, its best sauvignon from South Africa, its best pinot from the United States, and its best shiraz from New
Zealand? Who would have thought that Canada would bag more class trophies than any other wine producing nation except the United States, and that its trophy swag would equal the combined haul of Australia and New Zealand? The pace of change is quicker than we realise: we are like passengers hurtling at almost infinite speeds across zero gravity space: we think we are standing still, but once a year we get a chance to sample and quantify the pace of progress, and we are forced to look back and see, as if for the first time, the distance we have traversed.
Michael Fridjhon | South Africa