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What does ‘best of the best’ mean?

There are almost as many international and national wine awards and competitions as there are vintages. Each awards programme holds its own measure of authority – and idiosyncrasy – but among the several hundred out there, more than 150 competitions are highly respected. The International Wine Challenge, Concours Mondial de Bruxelles, the Decanter World Wine Awards and a handful of others tend to hold sway, while the wine advocates and critics’ choices also stand out, with Tim Atkin and Robert Parker notable in this regard. In South Africa, most of us look to Platter’s Wine Guide, or the Veritas Awards, the longest-running competition in the country, established in 1991.

Bringing together South African winners of various competitions in a moment of communal excellence is leading local distributor Vinimark’s annual Night of the Stars. This trade event was launched in 2017 and showcases the outstanding achievements of South African winemakers who have not merely garnered accolades but achieved at the highest level.

The 2024 edition of the Night of the Stars, which was held at the One&Only Cape Town on 13 February, included an astounding array of award-winning wines by 27 different brands. The well-attended showcase serves as one of the highlights of the wine industry year. ‘We salute the excellence of all of our brand partners and we’re confident in all the wines that emerge from their cellars, but this event celebrates standout achievements,’ said Vinimark’s Brand Portfolio Director Helen Kock.

On show for trade guests were six Veritas 2023 Double Gold winners; sixteen wines that had scored over 95 in the 2023 Tim Atkin Report; twenty one wines that had been awarded five stars by Platter’s Guide, including three that were also named as Platter’s Wine of the Year in their respective categories; and the Vilafonté Series C 2021, which received a Robert Parker Wine Advocate 99/100 rating in 2023, the highest rating ever given to a South African red by a US-based publication. In short, the evening was an absolute feast of the country’s finest.

Night of the Stars gives trade buyers and local wine writers a sterling opportunity to engage with the winemakers behind the winning vintages and to try out some truly special wines. ‘Everything to be tasted at Night of the Stars is exceptional in its own way. Our intention is that this event serves to elevate the profile of the South African wine industry,’ Kock explained.

Ultimately, of course, the hope is that these standout wines will make their way on to wine lists, and the shelves of retail outlets and pages of online stores. ‘We’re extremely proud to be able to distribute the best of the best to South African retailers and restaurateurs, and, through them, to wine lovers everywhere,’ said Kock. After all, for the consumer, buying a recognised award-winner is always a good rule of thumb for securing a purchase that offers an exceptional experience in a glass.

For more information about Vinimark’s brand partnerships visit - Vinimark Event PRE-23 240213 - Vinimark Event PRE-29-b&w 240213 - Vinimark Event PRE-31