Accolades 2023

Flying our flags high with our prestigious awards in 2023.

A number of important South African and international wine competitions took place in the first half of 2023, and Paul Clüver Family Wines managed to secure essential podium places.

Paul Clüver Family Wines’ showing at the International Wine Challenge (IWC) held in London truly grabbed the imagination regarding this year’s awards. In its best performance at an international wine competition, Paul Clüver won three IWC trophies for the estate’s icon Seven Flags Chardonnay 2021.

At this competition, known as the most rigorously judged on the international wine awards circuit, the Paul Clüver Seven Flags Chardonnay 2021 secured the IWC International Chardonnay Trophy, the trophy for best South African White Wine as well as the IWC Sustainable Trophy. The wine accrued a score of 97pts.

Now in its 39th year, the IWC is widely acknowledged as the world’s most rigorous, impartial, and influential global wine competition. The competition assesses every wine ‘blind’ for its faithfulness to style, region and vintage, with trophies awarded to the best wines in each category.

Although Paul Clüver Family Wines has put in many commendable showings in international and local wine competitions, winning three trophies at the IWC is a highlight of this Elgin farm, which paved the way for wine-growing in the region by planting its first commercial vineyards in 1987.

“Being the holder of the 2023 IWC Trophy for Best International Chardonnay is celebrated by the whole Paul Clüver family and our team in the vineyards and the cellar,” says Clüver.

“But if there is one person, I would like to give this honour to, it is my father, Dr Paul Clüver. It was his vision and foresight to plant the first commercial vineyards in Elgin, putting the family and our team on the trajectory of involvement in the fascinating world of wine. Chardonnay was one of those first varieties to be planted on our farm in 1987, and now to have the IWC Trophy for Best International Chardonnay underscores my father’s vision. However, he will not blame me for saying that I do not think even he anticipated this achievement when laying down the first Chardonnay vines.”

Adding a touch of relevance to the IWC trophy awards is that the winning Seven Flags Chardonnay 2021 was made from those first Chardonnay vines planted in 1987, making victory much sweeter.

The consistency of our Seven Flags 2021 was underscored by this wine winning a Gold medal at the Decanter World Wine Awards, where the Paul Clüver Noble Late Harvest Riesling 2021 also took Gold.

In addition, at South Africa’s National Wine Competition/Top 100, Paul Clüver was announced joint-winner of this competition’s Vineyard Consistency Award for the most Top 100 places in the 13-year history of the South African wine show.

The pioneering Elgin winery this year put in another extraordinary showing in the NWC/Top 100 competition by winning two Grand Cru accolades for Best Wines in Class for the legendary Paul Clüver Seven Flags Pinot Noir 2018 and the Seven Flags Chardonnay 2021.

Among the Top 100 and Double Platinum Awards, Paul Clüver received this accolade for its Seven Flags Pinot Noir 2018 and Seven Flags Chardonnay 2021, as well as for the Paul Clüver Estate Chardonnay 2020 and the farm’s Noble Late Harvest 2021.

Paul Clüver took four Gold Medals in the same competition, each for Estate Pinot Noir 2021, Village Pinot Noir 2022, Village Chardonnay 2022 and Sauvignon Blanc 2022. Paul Clüver Jnr, managing director of Paul Clüver Family Wines, says that when it comes to wine competitions, the importance lies in whether an entrant can show consistency in performance.

“Therefore, awarding the NWC/Top 100 Vineyard Consistency Award is both important and rewarding in that it emphasises Paul Clüver Family Wines’ ability to produce wines of consistency at the highest level of judging,” he says.