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Groot Constantia hits world-wide Chardonnay Top 10

Groot Constantia may be South Africa's oldest wine estate, but it has once more shown that there is still plenty of life left in those venerable foundations. The iconic wine estate has just been named as one of the world's top 10 producers of Chardonnay wine during the Chardonnay du Monde, the world's most prestigious international judging event for Chardonnay which takes place annually in France.

At this year's Chardonnay du Monde, held in Burgundy, 953 wines from 39 countries were evaluated by 300 international judges. A total of 60 wines were awarded gold medals, including Groot Constantia's Gouverneurs Chardonnay 2006 - the only South African wine to achieve gold.

The Groot Constantia wine received an additional accolade by being included among the judges' list of the top 10 Chardonnays on offer at this year's Chardonnay du Monde.

According to Jean Naudé, general manager of Groot Constantia, the achievement is particularly noteworthy due to the status of the Chardonnay du Monde competition.

"This is undoubtedly one of the world's most prestigious wine competitions, held under the auspices of the French ministry of trade and industry," says Naudé. "The enormous panel of 300 judges is also an indication of the strict requirements with which a good wine must comply. By winning South Africa's only gold medal at the competition, we exceeded our expectations. But to be told our wine is regarded as one of the world's top 10 is amazing news."

"It's a highly satisfactory reward for the renewed vigour with which Groot Constantia has managed its vineyards and winemaking procedures during the last decade," he says. "Groot Constantia has been the headquarters of the South African wine industry since 1685 and it's important that its heritage is backed up by wine of exceptional quality."

Boela Gerber, Groot Constantia's winemaker, says a winemaker can never predict with certainty what will impress the judges of wine competitions such as the Chardonnay du Monde. "But I do think that as far as the Gouverneurs Chardonnay 2006 is concerned, the classic style of the wine might have been the deciding factor. Constantia's cool climate is conducive to the right grapes and we retain the fruit by controlling the contact with wood."

A further 202 silver medals were awarded in addition to the 60 gold. Apart from South Africa, other countries which had wines in the top 10 were France (4 wines), Australia, Chile, Canada, Austria and Spain.

By Media Vision Consultants

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