PIWOSA vs Tim Atkin’s Cape Wine Classification

Posted on 23 May 2013 under PIWOSA News

With Tim Atkin’s Classification of Cape Wine producers causing some healthy and lively debate on social networks I thought it would be interesting to compare his list to the membership card of the Premium Independent Wineries of South Africa (PIWOSA).

PIWOSA’s aim is to promote it’s members (and by implication South Africa) to highlight that there are some exceptional wines coming out of the Cape. ‘Premium’ is possibly second only to ‘handcrafted’ when it comes to the most overused and throw-away term when it comes to describing wine. It seems that if your wine is in a bottle and doesn’t make the drinker ill it is generally described as premium. But I agree with what they are trying to achieve. It is needed.

This aim naturally would be aided by the recognition and appreciation of international wine writers and commentators, whether producers like it or not. At the higher price point in an overcrowded market like the UK, these guys have influence.

Tim Atkin has classified South African wine producers in a hierarchy from First to Fifth Growths and then Cru Bourgeois. So how do the PIWOSA members feature on his classification?

Ataraxia – Third
Beaumont – Third
Cederberg – Second
The Drift – N/A
Glenelly – Third
Jordan – Crus
Journey’s End – N/A
Ken Forrester – Fourth
Mulderbosch – Crus
Mullineux – First
Newton Johnson – Second
Paul Cluver – First
Raats – Third

Well represented overall, and of course his classification is his opinion. Producers like Gary and Cathy Jordan are undoubted in their commitment to raising the profile of SA wines, but may be hampered by their large ranges when it comes to Atkin’s Classification. As Tim said on Twitter “I looked at the whole range of a producer’s wines, as well as track record, where appropriate.”

I would be interested to hear what has been happening from PIWOSA’s side. Seems a bit quiet, although they do have a schedule of UK wine tastings and events lined up in the UK in June.

Source: winethegap.com