The first National Bottled Wine Show in South Africa was introduced by the South African National Wine Show Association in 1990 and renamed the Veritas Awards from 1991 making it the longest running wine competition in South Africa. I participated as a judge for the first time this year and while it was generally a worthwhile experience, I was somewhat disappointed that judges aren’t remunerated, prompting me to put the following question to Duimpie Bayly, chairman of SANWSA:
The entry fee is R877.80 per wine and the competition attracts some 1 700 entries. That’s nearly R1.5 million in income. Sponsorship is provided by Agri-Expo, Deloitte and SA Litho label printers and then there are sticker sales (double gold at R420 per 1 000, gold at R320 per 1000, silver at R200 per 1000 and bronze at R130 per 1000). Judges don’t get paid so where do all the proceeds go?
“I must stress that the SA National Wine Show Association under which Veritas resides is a non-profit organisation – operated for the industry by the industry. Huge costs are involved, e.g. the Veritas Awards gala evening, venue and catering, the cost to get the overseas judges here and presenting all the tastings countywide, etc. Over the years it has been necessary to involve sponsors to offset some of the costs and in most years we try to break even.
We have found that the judges involved regard it as an honour and an enriching experience to contribute some of their time for the cause in the industry that provides their livelihood.”
Results of the Veritas Awards 2011 will be announced during a black-tie dinner on Saturday 8 October at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.