Kanonkop Estate Named 12th Most Admired Wine Brand in the World

Kanonkop Estate in Stellenbosch has been named 12th Most Admired Wine Brand in the World in the annual poll done by leading wine publication Drinks International which every year selects its 50 top brands throughout the winemaking diaspora. Kanonkop is the only South African winery to appear on this year’s illustrious top-50 list, and was also named as best brand in all of Africa and the Middle East.

This year sees the 14th edition of the international wine industry’s most authoritative ranking as voted on by Drinks International’s Academy of experts from around the world including sommeliers, buyers, wholesalers, Masters of Wine and writers.

Kanonkop was also named the Highest Climber in this year’s Top 50 list, its 12th spot this year being 31 places above what it had achieved in last year’s list of Most Admired Wine Brands in the World.
Johann Krige, co-owner of Kanonkop, says this recognition is both an honour and a privilege. “The honour is in being recognised for our wine quality and the status of the Kanonkop brand by a panel of experts who had to make a selection from the best wineries spread throughout the great wine countries such as France, Italy, Spain, America and Australia,” he says.

“The privilege is seeing your own brand, and as the only South African wine brand, on the Top 50 list alongside international icons such as Chateau Margaux and Domaine de la Romanée Conti from France, the Spain legends of Vega Sicilia and Torres and Penfold’s from Australia.

This Top 50 recognition comes one year after Kanonkop celebrated its 50th anniversary as a wine brand, its first bottlings – Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinotage – being from the 1973 vintage. In its half-century as arguably South Africa’s leading wine brand, Kanonkop has received various international accolades, including four times winning the trophy for Best Winemaker in the World at the International Wine and Spirits Competition.

Krige says that focus and a realisation of the importance of sticking to basic viticulture and winemaking principles have been the keys to Kanonkop’s success. “Our Simonsberg terroir provides the canvas and lies at the heart of everything we do,” he says. “An exclusive focus on red varieties that have proven themselves as being best-suited to our terroir, together with precision viticulture, allows us to make the best use of the site we have been given. And in the cellar Kanonkop remains committed to traditional winemaking methods of fermenting grapes in open-top concrete tanks, with manual punch-downs. No expense is spared in ensuring the wines are matured in the finest wood, and despite our track-record of successes, every day is spent thinking about how Kanonkop can still improve on quality.”

Krige says Kanonkop has never chased recognition, awards or spots on the lists of top global wineries. “These have come our way, I believe because throughout our history, we have never wavered from this commitment to excellence, as well as remaining true to the heritage and values of Kanonkop’s wine ethos.”

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