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Internationally acclaimed judgement week of SA's finest wines


The Top 100 SA Wine Challenge 2014/15 provides an objective, independent and professional rating of South Africa’s entered fine wines. Judging panels are again made up of the highest quality experts. Each panel will comprise one SA judge and two international judges. Each panel will have at least one Master of Wine (MW) as well as one member with renowned wine making skills.

Tasting Director - Higgo Jacobs

Hugo Jacobs - Tasting Director

Higgo Jacobs is again the dedicated Tasting Director for 2014. He will oversee flight creation and assembly during the judgement week. Higgo has worked for over 15 years in the wine industry and contributes with a wealth of local and international experience including with highly respected fine-wine merchants Anthony Byrne and the Jeroboams group in London.

He obtained his Court of Master Sommeliers’ Certificate as well as the WSET Advanced qualification whilst working in the UK. Higgo serves as a senior panel judge at the IWC in London. Higgo is also a respected sommelier and judge in key South African circles.

Tasting Protocol

The methodology applied is based on input from international judges as well as from analysis and review of world class wine events. Top 100 SA Wine Challenge procedures remain at the forefront of global best practice.


  1. Six bottles of each wine are available
  2. White wines will be served at approximately 14°C
  3. Red wines will be served at approximately 19°C
  4. Bubblies will be served at approximately 7°C
  5. Two bottles are used per tasting flight
  6. One bottle is decanted beforehand;12 hours reds & 2 hours whites
  7. One bottle is opened and poured shortly before the actual tasting
  8. The Tasting Director will arrange flights and supervise administration.


Riedel glassware is used.

Judging Process

  1. Top 100 SA Wine Challenge Chair is Tim Atkin MW
  2. Judges are independent and answer only to panel chairs and to Tim
  3. Wines are tasted blind (judges will be aware of each decanted/non decanted version)
  4. Discussion is allowed for faulty wines or protocol breach
  5. There is post flight panel discussion, score calibration and recording
  6. All wines are tasted a minimum of twice
  7. Following the initial tastings, and as an absolute minimum, wines within a certain score band can be re-tasted twice further in order to confirm their placement
  8. Wines are tasted in similar flights
  9. 50+ wines will be tasted per panel per day
  10. The 20-point scoring system is applied
  11. The 100 wines that achieve the highest scores will be the Challenge winners
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