Women have been shown to be more discerning wine buyers.

Focused on Quality

Female wine buyers are more inclined to consider both quality and value for money.


Women value advice from their peers more so or in addition to wine experts.

SAWWA - South African Women's Wine Awards

Judged by women, for women

Women make up a significant percentage of the wine-buying public, yet surprisingly few marketing drives target women specifically. One might think a wine buyer is a wine buyer, whether male or female, and it doesn’t matter that the one market segment is neglected, but it’s been shown that men and women have different brand responses and buying patterns. Too often, marketers underestimate the purchasing power of women and simply neglect them in their marketing strategies. The South African Women’s Wine Awards aims to tap into this target market of consumers by having women judge the wines for the awards.

Large Market Share

In the United Kingdom, female wine buyers contribute up to 70% of purchases in a retail environment.

Wine Preferred

According to a Gallup poll among adult drinkers in the United States, 52% of women prefer to drink wine compared with 20% of men. 

The Numbers

In a 2010 South African study it was found that women make up 48% of the wine consumers in the country (Vinintell 2011).

Value and Price

Women are more inclined to look for value for money, but are also willing to pay more for better quality.

Confident Wine Tasters

In a poll by Wine Spectator magazine, the question was asked whether women are better wine tasters than men. In the results broken down by gender, women answered as follows: Yes: 55,8% Equal: 34,3% No: 9,9%

“What is she having?”

In one study it was found that women pay less attention to wine scores, but greatly value trusted advice from their female peers.

The South African Women’s Wine Awards will be judged exclusively by women, whose endorsement would serve as a recommendation to women wine buyers.

Are women better wine judges than men?

The aim of the South African Women’s Wine Awards is certainly not to answer this question. The objective is to recommend wines to women wine buyers who value trusted advice from their female peers.

Important dates to remember for SAWWA

Competition opens – 14 March 2017

20 June 2017

Cut-off date for entries

26 and 27 June 2017

Delivery of wine samples

3 July 2017

Producers receive results.


Important Information About the SAWWA Awards

Will the tastings be audited?

The tasting procedure will be audited to ensure the judges are not influenced and that the tasting is done blind and conforms to international standards.

Should I only enter wines that I think women would like?

The judges are all qualified and will judge the wines on merit and in a professional manner.

Who will the judges be?

The judges will be qualified female consumers or members of the wine trade who have a qualification from the Cape Wine Academy, or a similar qualification.

Are only wines made by women winemakers allowed?

All wines are allowed, because it is the women’s preference  that is determined.

Do I have to orders stickers?

You’re not obligated to order stickers; if you do not want any, indicate the number on the entry form as 0 (zero). Once the results have been revealed, you have to accept and pay for the number of stickers you indicated. Stickers will be available approximately two weeks after the winners have been notified.

What awards are given?

The South African Women’s Wine Awards will award a Gold Award to signify wine of good quality for women, chosen by women.

Cost of entry

How much does it cost to enter the competition?

It costs R650 excl VAT per entry and stickers will be available at R230 excl VAT for a roll of 1 000.

How many samples are needed per entry?

For wines in 750 ml bottles, a sample has to comprise three bottles per entry. For wines in containers bigger than 750 ml, a sample has to comprise two units. For wines in containers smaller than 750 ml, a sample has to comprise four units. For brandy only two bottles are needed.

What does the sticker look like?

The sticker measures 25 mm across and is pictured above.

Rules of the Competition

1.    Submission of entries online by the cut-off date for entries constitutes acceptance of all the rules and entry fees will have to be paid for these entries. Entries can be deleted before the cut-off time if necessary, but not afterwards.

2.    Tank samples will not be accepted as entries into the competition.

3.    Uncertified wine may not be entered into the competition.

4.    All wine must be accompanied by a SAWIS (South African Wine Industry Information & Systems – application number, and the stickers awarded may only be applied to the wine attached to the application number. If a certain wine has more than one application number, the wines must be entered separately.

5.    Each wine has to have a current WSR2 or WSR4 certificate showing that the wine was approved on the strength of taste and analysis by SAWIS. This certificate must be current (i.e. the wine must have been tasted and approved by the board no later than one year before in the case of a white wine and 18 months in the case of a red wine). A current WSR2 or WSR4 certificate must accompany every sample, and a sample will not be accepted without this certificate. No refunds will be paid if the WSR2 or WSR4 certificate is not current.

6.    Each wine’s category will be determined by the information on the label.

7.    There is no minimum quantity needed to enter a wine.

8.    There is no limit to the number of entries per producer. Whereas each wine may only be entered once into the competition (even if it is under a different label), any participant may enter more than one wine in a class. Examples are wineries that produce several wines of the same varietal type but with different vineyard designations or vintages.

9.    A wine that has not been certified as a cultivar wine, although it may be one, may be entered into a blended category.

10.    A wine that received an Award in a previous year’s competition may be entered again.

11.    Entries and registration will be accepted online from 14th March up to midnight on 20th June 2017. Proof of payment must be emailed to before midnight on the closing date for entries to be accepted.

12.    Invoices for entries must be printed online by the participant, and paid before the final close of entries.

13.    For wines in 750 ml bottles, a sample has to comprise three bottles per entry. For wines in containers bigger than 750 ml, a sample has to comprise two units. For wines in containers smaller than 750 ml, a sample has to comprise four units. For brandy, a minimum number of two bottles is required for entry.

14.    The wine must be delivered to the drop-off point between 9am and 4pm on the 26th or 27th of June 2017 to be accepted into the competition. Winners will be notified by email, and stickers will be available for collection about two weeks later. Proof of payment of both the entries (R650 excl VAT per entry) and stickers is needed before stickers can be collected. Stickers cost R230 excl VAT per 1 000, and come in multiples of 1 000.

15.    Quantities of stickers ordered that are not multiples of 1 000 will be rounded up and invoiced as such.

16.    By entering the competition, the entrant commits to pay for the number of stickers indicated before the required deadline for the wines that receive awards. The producer may only use the stickers awarded on the particular wine that corresponds with the SAWIS application number that was entered and won the award. Stickers may not be put onto another batch with a different SAWIS application number.

17.    The competition logo or stickers may not be displayed on their own for purposes of marketing, but must be accompanied either by the name and vintage of the particular wine that won, or may be photographed on the wine that won the award.

18.    Any wine remaining at the conclusion of the judging becomes the property of the competition.

19.    The judging process will be entirely confidential and no details will be released concerning the judging process and reasoning. No feedback of any nature will be given.

20.    The decision of the judges is final and no changes will be made to awards after the judging process is complete. In the event of a dispute, this competition’s decision will be final.

21.    No refund of entry fees will be made.

22.    By entering the competition, the entrant states that the information provided is factually and legally correct.

23.    If a participant does not follow all the rules of the competition or legal requirements as required by SAWIS, the competition has the right to disqualify the particular entry concerned or the entire year’s entries, or ban the producer from the competition.

24.    For confidentiality purposes, only a list of the top wineries will be made public, and not a list of all the wineries that took part in the competition or the score assigned to any wine.

25.    Entries will only be accepted in English.

26.    Entries must be completed in full, and entries that were not completed in full can be declared void.

27.    Employees of the competition or their immediate family are not allowed to enter the competition.

28.    This competition can change the rules without notice, and publish them on the website without giving notice to entrants. f the entrant does not want to comply with the new rules they may withdraw their entry.

29.    If an entrant does not comply with the rules their entries will at the discretion of the competition, be cancelled.

30.    The producer whose wine is entered must be fully aware of the submission, and must grant the person entering the award the right to enter wines and order stickers. If this is not found to be the case the person entering the competition will be liable for the financial commitment made.

Contact details

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Alice van Heerden for all general enquiries


Tel no:  084 446 0412

Drop-off point for samples:

Nietvoorbij Experimental Cellar
Care of Cape Wine Academy
Klapmuts Road, R44
Attention: Michelle Grimbeek
Tel: 021 889 8844