MW Tim Atkin




When someone tastes 2282 wines from 433 wineries you have to think they have some help. Nevertheless, MW —Master of Wine-Tim Atkin’s is THE report everyone waits for with eager anticip….ation.  His tenth South African Report ( 6 September,) with Chenin Blanc and Stellenbosch wines showing particularly well, contends the 2021 vintage could rank as one of the Cape’s best-ever vintages to date.

Boekenhoutskloof Semillon


“Overall, I am extremely impressed with the quality of what I tasted in 2022, especially from the 2017 and 2021 vintages. I am more convinced than ever that 2017 deserves its place among the best-ever Cape harvests, as good as and, in some cases, even better than 2015. But I have a feeling that 2021 could equal and possibly surpass it.”

Sadie Family Columella


He is “amazed by the remarkable progress” the country has made since his first report issued in 2013 and is urging producers “to take great pride in Brand South Africa”. This is as 8,5% of the record 2 282 wines tasted from 433 wineries garner scores of 95 or higher. For several producers to feature on this list of 195 wines, it is a first-time achievement.

While no wine achieves a perfect score of 100 points this year, two 2020 wines earn scores of 99. One white and one red, they are the Boekenhoutskloof Semillon and Sadie Family’s Columella. (Eben Sadie, who regularly garners amongst the highest Tim Atkin ratings, has twice been crowned Winemaker of the Year, in 2015 and again in 2019.)


This year, there are 10 wines that score 98 each.


The report itself is a must for everyone who is interested in SA wines and cannot be covered in this limited space. To purchase the report, where more detail can be found, visit

Having said that, here are some highlights



  • Winemaker of the Year: Duncan Savage of Savage Wines


  • Young Winemaker of the Year: Charla Bosman of Sijnn


  • Viticulturist of the Year: Sheldon van Wyk


  • Producers’ Cellar of the Year: Darling Cellars


  • Winemaking Legend: Kevin Arnold


  • Best Cellar Door Experience: Benguela Cove


  • Overall White Wine of the Year: 2020 Boekenhoutskloof Semillon, Franschhoek
  • Marc Kent and Gottfried Mocke at Boekenhoutskloof


  • Overall Red Wine of the Year: 2020 Sadie Family Columella, Swartland


Paul Jordaan Sadie Family winemaker


To purchase the report, where more detail can be found, visit