Philip Theron and Johan Malan with their prizewinning wines

The winners of the 2020 Diners Club Winemaker and Young Winemaker of the Year awards were announced in Franschhoek on Saturday 21st November, with Johan Malan (Simonsig Wines) and Philip Theron (Glen Carlou) claiming top honours respectively.


The Winemaker and Young Winemaker awards, focusing on quality and recognition of excellence, are regarded as the country’s most prestigious and well-respected wine industry competition. Celebrating the skills and talent of the vintners, these awards are open to all in the South African wine industry at no cost, thus affording all winemakers an equal opportunity. The Winemaker of the Year competition is in its 40th year, while the Young Winemaker contest has been running for 20 years.


The awards are presented to the winemakers who produce a wine that the judging panel considers the best in a specified class. The categories for 2020 were Cap Classique for Winemaker of the Year, and Red Wines of any varietal or blend for Young Winemaker of the Year. The field was narrowed down to ten finalists through rigorous judging by a panel of wine experts: with five winemakers shortlisted for the prestigious Winemaker of the Year award, and five for the Young Winemaker of the Year title.


This year’s Diners Club Winemaker of the Year (Cap Classique category), Johan Malan, delighted the judges with the 2015 Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel Brut. The 2020 Diners Club Young Winemaker of the Year, Philip Theron, received his award (Red Wines category) for the 2018 Glen Carlou Collection Tannat.


The winning Winemaker receives R50 000, the Young Winemaker R25 000, and both win a trip to an exciting wine producing destination.


The 2020 Diners Club Winemaker of the Year Judges were

  • Remington Norman – International judge
  • Carrie Adams
  • Michael Crossley
  • Ntsiki Biyela
  • Heidi Duminy