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 and Spirits 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 and Spirits 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 and Spirits Awards will be judged exclusively by women, whose endorsement would serve as a recommendation to women wine buyers.

Important dates to remember for SAWWA

Competition opens – 6 March 2018

12 June 2018

Cut-off date for entries

18 and 19 June 2018 (Monday and Tuesday)

Delivery of wine samples

25th June 2018

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 R695 excl VAT per entry and stickers will be available at R260 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 spirits, only two 750ml bottles are needed or the equivalent thereof.

What does the sticker look like?

The sticker measures 25 mm across and is pictured above.

Rules of the Competition

  • Submission of samples and/or payment of entry fees constitutes acceptance of all the rules.
  • Tank samples will not be accepted as entries.
  • Uncertified wine may not be entered into the competition unless it is flavoured wine.
  • All certified 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.
  • Each certified 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, or the Department of Agriculture Wine-on-Line screen capture printout to show the wine has a current tasting date on 22nd June 2018. This certificate must be current (i.e. the wine must have been tasted and approved by the board no more than one year before in the case of a white wine and 18 months in the case of a red wine). A certified wine sample will not be accepted without this certificate. No refunds will be paid if the WSR2 or WSR4 certificate is not current.
  • Each product’s category will be determined by the information on the label.
  • There is no minimum quantity needed to enter.
  • There is no limit to the number of entries per producer. Whereas each product may only be entered into the competition once (even if it is under a different label), any participant may enter more than one product in a class. Examples are producers that produce several products of the same type but with different styles or vintages.
  • A wine that has not been certified as a cultivar wine, although it may be one, may be entered into a blended category.
  • A product that received an Award in a previous year’s competition may be entered again.
  • Entries and registration will be accepted online from 6th March up to midnight on 12th June 2018. Proof of payment must be emailed to before midnight on the closing date for entries to be accepted.
  • Invoices for entries must be printed online by the participant, and paid before the final close of entries.
  • 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 or the equivalent thereof. For spirits, only two 750ml bottles are needed or the equivalent thereof.
  • The samples must be delivered to the drop-off point between 9am and 4pm on the 18th or 19th of June 2018 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 for both the entries (R695 excl VAT per entry) and stickers is needed before stickers can be collected. Stickers cost R260 excl VAT per 1000, and come in multiples of 1000.
  • Quantities of stickers ordered that are not multiples of 1000 will be rounded up and invoiced as such.
  • By entering the competition, the entrant commits to paying for the number of stickers indicated before the required deadline for the products that receive awards.
  • The producer may only use the stickers awarded on the particular product that was entered and won the award. Stickers may not be put onto another batch of product similar to the one entered, that did not win an award in this year’s competition.
  • Participants must always market their winning product in conjunction with the year of the competition the product won the award.
  • The competition logo or stickers may not be displayed on their own for purposes of marketing, but must be accompanied by the name of the particular product that won, or may be photographed on the specific product that won the award.
  • Any samples remaining at the conclusion of the judging will become the property of the competition organisers.
  • The judging process will be entirely confidential and no details will be released concerning the judging process or its reasoning. No feedback of any nature will be given.
  • 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.
  • No refund of entry fees will be made.
  • By entering the competition, the entrant states that the information provided is factually and legally correct.
  • If a participant does not follow all the rules of the competition or legal requirements, the competition has the right to disqualify the particular entry concerned or the entire year’s entries, or ban the producer from the competition.
  • For confidentiality purposes, only a list of the top producers will be made public, and not a list of all the producers that took part in the competition, or the score assigned to any product.
  • Entries will only be accepted in English.
  • Entries must be completed in full, and entries that were not completed in full may be declared void.
  • Employees of the competition or their immediate family are not allowed to enter the competition.
  • The organisers can change the rules of the competition without notice, and publish them on the website without giving notice to entrants. If the entrant does not want to comply with the new rules they can cancel their entries.
  • If an entrant does not comply with the rules their entries may be cancelled.
  • The producer whose product is entered must be fully aware of the submission, and must grant the person entering the competition the right to enter the product 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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Sanet van Heerden for all general inquiries


Tel no:  084 446 0412

Drop-off point for samples:

Nietvoorbij Experimental Cellar
Klapmuts Road, R44
Attention: Michelle Grimbeek
Tel: 082 773 0738