SAWWA - SA Women's Wine and Spirit Awards


Why target women in the wine and spirit market?

There are very few marketing drives that target the female consumer segment, although they are a significant share of the target market.

Women are the biggest wine and spirit drinking segment

56% of wine drinkers in South Africa are female and wine is usually their first alcohol choice.

Women are the main buyers of wine

In the USA women women buy 70% of wine that is intended for home consumption, and 80% of the total wine sold. In the UK women buy 70% of the wine sold.

Quality awards strongly influence buying decisions

If a buying decision needs to be made for an unknown product awards have a strong influence in finalising such a decision.



Women make up a significant percentage of the wine and spirit buying public, yet surprisingly few marketing drives target women specifically. One might think a buyer is a buyer, whether male or female, and it doesn’t matter that the one market segment is neglected, but it’s been proven 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 SA Women’s Wine & Spirit Awards aim to target this consumer market by having women judges whose endorsements serve as a recommendation in order to influence female consumers and wine buyers.

The unique position of this competition is to give women their own say when selecting a wine or spirit. The judges are well qualified to select the best wines or spirits but being an all women panel, their vote is also a reliable indication of what women consumers would prefer.

 All winemakers and distillers, male as well as female, can enter the SA Women’s Wine & Spirit Awards and all products will be judged on merit. If your winery or distillery has a woman at the helm, she will be eligible to be awarded a trophy for the “Woman Winemaker of the Year” or “Woman Distiller of the Year”.

The unique position of the SA Women’s Wine & Spirit Awards is to give women their own say when selecting a wine or spirit. The judges are well qualified to select the best wines or spirits but being an all women panel, their vote is also a reliable indication of what women consumers would prefer.

Important dates to remember for SAWWA

Competition opens 3 March 2020

Early bird entry fee R695 excluding VAT

from 3rd March until 14 July 2020

Early bird cut-off 14 July 2020

Normal entry fee R875 excluding VAT

from 15 July until 25 August 2020

Normal entry cut-off 25 August 2020

Late entry fee R1050 excluding VAT

from 26 August until final close 1 September 2020

Final close of late entries 1st September 2020

No entries accepted after this date

Delivery of wine samples

7th and 8th September 2020

(Monday and Tuesday)

Results published 14 September 2020

Latest date producers will receive their results


Important Information About the SAWWA

Will the tastings be audited?

The tasting procedure will be audited to ensure the judges are not influenced; and the tastings are done blind and conform to international standards.

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

The judges are all fully qualified to assess all the entries and will judge the products on merit and in a professional manner.

What are the credentials of the panellists who will be assessing the wines and spirits?

The judges will be female consumers or members of the trade who have a deep interest and understanding of wine and spirit. They are lovers of wines and spirits and are representative of the exact demographic who will be seeking to spend their money on wine and spirits.

What awards are given?

SAWWA will confer a Gold Award to signify good quality. The trophies to be awarded are: 

  • “Woman Winemaker of the Year”
  • “Woman Distiller of the Year” 
  • “Best Méthode Cap Classique”(male or female winemaker)
  • “Best sparkling wine – non Méthode Cap Classique” (male or female winemaker)
Do I have to order stickers for awarded entries?

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 take the number of stickers you indicated. Stickers will be available approximately two weeks after the winners have been notified.

Are only products made by women allowed?

All winemakers and distillers, both male and female, can enter the SA Women’s Wine & Spirit Awards and all products will be judged on merit.  

If your winery or distillery has a woman at the helm, she will be eligible to be awarded a trophy for “Woman Winemaker of the Year” or “Woman Distiller of the Year”.

Cost of entry

How much does it cost to enter the competition?
  • Early bird entries are R695 excluding VAT per entry from 3rd March till 14 July 2020. 
  • Normal entries are R875 excluding VAT per entry from 15 July ’till 25 August 2020. 
  • Late entries are R1050 excluding VAT per entry from 26 August ’till 1st September 2020. Stickers will be available at R310 excl VAT for a roll of 1000.
How many samples are needed per entry?

A wine sample has to comprise only three 750ml bottles and a spirit sample has to comprise only two 750ml bottles, or the volumetric equivalent thereof.

What does the sticker look like?

The sticker measures 25 mm across and is pictured above.

Rules of the Competition

  1. Submission of samples and/or payment of entry fees constitutes acceptance of all the rules.
  2. Tank samples will not be accepted as entries into the competition.
  3. All non-flavoured 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.
  4. Each non-flavoured 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. 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 sample will not be accepted without this certificate. No refunds will be paid if the WSR2 or WSR4 certificate is not current.
  5. Each category will be determined by the product information on the label.
  6. There is no minimum stock quantity needed to enter a product.
  7. There is no limit to the number of entries per producer. However, each wine, flavoured wine or spirit may only be entered once into the competition (even if it is under a different label). Any participant may enter more than one wine, flavoured wine or spirits in a class. Examples are wineries that produce several wines of the same varietal type, but with different vineyard designations or vintages.
  8. A wine that has not been certified as a cultivar wine, although it may be one, may be entered into a blended category.
  9. A product that received an award in a previous year’s competition may be entered again.
  10. Entries and registration will be accepted online from the entry date stated on the website up to midnight on the close of entries. Proof of payment must be emailed to before midnight on the closing date for entries to be accepted.
  11. Invoices for entries must be printed online by the participant, and paid before the final close of entries.
  12. A wine sample must comprise of three 750ml bottles, or the volumetric equivalent thereof and a spirit sample of two 750ml bottles, or the volumetric equivalent thereof.
  13. The samples must be delivered to the drop-off point between 09:00 and 16:00 on the two days allocated to be accepted into the competition.
  14. Winners will be notified by email, and stickers will be available for collection about two weeks later. Proof of payment of both the entries (R875 excl VAT per entry unless the early bird option was utilised) and stickers is needed before stickers can be collected. Stickers cost R310 excl VAT per 1000, and come in multiples of 1000 and 2000.
  15. Quantities of stickers ordered that are not multiples of 1000 will be rounded up and invoiced as such.
  16. 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.
  17. 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 products in conjunction with the year of the competition the wine won the award.
  18. The competition logo or stickers may not be displayed on their own for purposes of marketing, but must be accompanied by the details of the particular product that won, or may be photographed on the product that won the award.
  19. Any samples remaining at the conclusion of the judging becomes the property of the competition.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. No refund of entry fees will be made.
  23. By entering the competition, the entrant states that the information provided is factually and legally correct.
  24. 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.
  25. The Awards Show (Pty) Ltd will not make available a list of all the producers that took part in the competition, or reveal the scores assigned to any product, or make available the details of products that were not awarded. It remains the prerogative of The Awards Show (Pty) Ltd to publish results of awarded products as they see fit.
  26. Entries will only be accepted in English.
  27. Entries must be completed in full, and entries that were not completed in full could be declared void.
  28. Employees of the competition or their immediate family are not allowed to enter the competition.
  29. If an entrant does not comply with the rules of the competition, their entries may be cancelled.
  30. 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 any financial commitment made.
  31. In the event that for any reason possible the judging cannot take place, or entrants cannot be given results, half of the entrant’s entry fee will be refunded, and no other damages will be awarded to the competition, or any of the companies involved.
  32. For any claim to be made against The Awards Show (Pty) Ltd for defective stickers, the stickers must be returned to Postnet in Stellenbosch within 7 days after date of delivery to Postnet. The Awards Show (Pty) Ltd will within its discretion either replace or pass a credit for defective stickers so proven, but shall not be liable for any direct, indirect, or any other loss, including loss to third parties and legal expenses, arising out of errors in carrying out providing stickers, or by delay in delivery, or by unsuitability of goods for use intended.
  33. This competition cannot be held liable for any damage incurred to stickers once the stickers have been accepted by the client or by a third party transportation company.
  34. This competition can change the rules of the competition without notice, and publish them on the website without giving notice to entrants. If an entrant does not want to comply with the new rules of the competition, they can cancel their entries up to the date that the entries close. After this time, entrants have to comply with the rules of the competition.

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