Stellebosch’s Kleine Zalze Estate has been named as the Best New World Producer of the Year at the annual UK Sommelier Wine Awards, as well as receiving seven medals at the Awards.

The Sommelier Wine Awards is the UK’s only competition to be aimed at the on-trade, and is judged by a panel of sommeliers and on-trade drinks buyers who reward the best wines available to restaurants, bars and hotels in the UK.

“To pick up seven medals is, in itself, impressive enough. But to do it with wines that are this affordable is little short of remarkable,” said SWA competition director Chris Losh.  “It was also really interesting to see them pick up Golds with a pricy Sauvignon Blanc and a classy Stellenbosch Shiraz. These are not wines that habitually walk onto our Gold List, so the fact that they did tells you everything you need to know about how good they are.”

The awards are welcome news for the Kleine Zalze team. “We have invested heavily to achieve the best from our terroir, so it’s very gratifying to be ranked number one. It’s also very significant for us as a South African company to be among the world’s most recognisable, historic and superb wine brands,” says Kleine Zalze owner and managing director Kobus Basson.

“Consistency is one of the most important aspects of quality winemaking, along with a reliable measure. Both are in evidence with the results of the past few months,” says Basson.

In February, Kleine Zalze’s success in the UK was once again confirmed as the most listed South African wine on-premise in the UK” in a report that is compiled annually by research consultancy, Wine Business Solutions, that ranked top performers in one of South Africa’s most valuable markets by country, as well as overall. It is a report to which Kleine Zalze is no stranger, having been featured as the most successful South African brand in UK restaurants and hotels, as well as being on the list for over a decade.