Weather Girl’s Michelangelo win returns spotlight to cool-climate Elim

FOR SOME the 2016 Michelangelo International Wine & Spirits Awards were remarkable for the level of success enjoyed by the Chenins (three trophies, one platinum award, eight double golds, 16 gold medals) and the Pinotage entries (2 trophies, two platinum awards, 10 double golds, eight gold medals). For many though this major competition on the South African wine calendar will be remembered for the top-scoring wine overall: The Berrio Weather Girl 2015, a white blend from Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon grapes grown outside Elim in the southern-most district of Cape Agulhus but with the winemaking completed by David Nieuwoudt at the Cederberg Private Cellar over 300km to the north.

The Berrio farm is currently closed to the public and proprietor Francis Pratt shies away from publicity. The wines aren’t sold from the Cederberg outfit either. Despite the good track records of both the Sauvignon Blanc and ‘Bordeaux-style’ combo, you’ll need to do some digging to find the retail stockists where the Weather Girl goes for around R120 per bottle – a bargain for a champion from one of the pioneers of winemaking in the area whose ancestors were among the first families to cultivate land on the Agulhas plain. According to the producers’ tasting note: “An elegant blend of white pear and quince with a hint of lime. A creamy sensation… Crisp finish.”

The Michelango International staged in Somerset West is unique as SA wine competitions go, with most of the judges flown in from outside the country. For more information and the full results of the show, click here. For all of South Africa’s wines that have been highly rated during the past year or so, together with their prices, see here.


Anura Pinotage Reserve 2014 – Paarl Cellar
Badsberg Badslese Natural Sweet 2012– Breedekloof Cellar
La Folie Douce Merlot 2014 (Origin) – Koelenhof Cellar, Stellenbosch
Mia Chenin Blanc 2016 (Stofberg) – Breedekloof Cellar
Mooiplaas Chenin Blanc Bush Vines 2011 – Bottelary Cellar, Stellenbosch
Running Duck Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2016 (Stellar) – Vredendal Cellar
Stellenrust Barrel Fermented Chenin Blanc 2015 – Helderberg Cellar, Stellenbosch
The Berrio Weather Girl 2015 (White Blend) – Elim Cellar, Cape Agulhas
The Grinder Pinotage 2015 (Grape Grinder) – Paarl Cellar
Wildekrans Barrel Select Reserve Cape Blend 2014 – Bot River Cellar
Windmeul The Legend 2014 (Red Blend) – Paarl Cellar


Beyerskloof Diesel Pinotage 2014 – Koelenhof Cellar, Stellenbosch
Cederberg Shiraz 2014 – Cederberg Cellar
De Grendel Shiraz 2015 – Panorama Cellar, Durbanville
Flagstone Writer’s Block Pinotage 2014 – Somerset West Cellar
Groot Constantia Grand Constance 2013 (Natural Sweet) – Constantia Cellar
Journey’s End Destination Chardonnay 2014 – Sir Lowery’s Pass Cellar, Somerset West
KWV Cape Tawny NV (Port) – Paarl Cellar
Nederburg Private Bin Eminence Noble Late Harvest Muscadel 2007 – Paarl Cellar
Nederburg Winemasters Noble Late Harvest 2014 – Paarl Cellar
Niel Joubert Christine-Marié Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 – Simonsberg-Paarl Cellar
Perdeberg Chenin Blanc Reserve Natural Sweet 2014 – Paarl Cellar
Peter Falke Exclusive Blend 2014 (Red Blend) – Helderberg Cellar, Stellenbosch
Rooiberg Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2014 – Robertson Cellar
Windmeul Reserve Chenin Blanc 2015 – Paarl Cellar
Zorgvliet Richelle 2014 (Red Blend) – Banghoek Cellar, Stellenbosch