Oct 24, 2023

Boplaas wines were among the very best performers at the annual Veritas Wine & Spirits Awards, announced last weekend. The winery received one of the few double gold medals presented, and two golds.

All three medals were for port or Cape-style wines, a category in which Boplaas has consistently excelled. As such, it was also the most successful port producer at this year’s event.

The Veritas Wine & Spirit Awards competition is one of the most highly regarded and longest-running championships in South Africa. This year, just over 6% of the 1 247 entries were awarded Double Gold – a score of 93/100 or higher.

Furthermore, only two port-style wines received Double Gold with Boplaas being the only small, family-owned producer. It was also the only recipient of Gold in the category for Museum Class  Cape Vintage wine.

Double Gold went to the Boplaas Cape Vintage Reserve Port 2020, a wine that has already won several other accolades including Port of the Year, five stars from Platter’s South African Wine Guide and a rating of 94 points from Tim Atkin, MW.

The Boplaas Single Harvest Colheita Cape Tawny 2007 was awarded Gold. The wine is produced from the finest, low-yielding Portuguese varieties – Tinta Barocca and Touriga Nacional. The fruit is hand-harvested, vinified in small lagars and matured for 15 years in large oak barrels. Meticulous blending follows to craft the distinctive colour and flavour profile of this exceptional wine.

It shows a fiery red brown colour with flecks of olive green on the rim. The bouquet unfurls with walnut, roast almonds, butterscotch, spices, citrus, warming brandy and notes of charred oak.

The Single Harvest Colheita Cape Tawny 2007 also has an impressive pedigree. It was the highest scoring fortified wine at the Michelangelo International Wine and Spirits Awards and won a Double Platinum medal. Tim Atkin also named it his Fortified Wine of the Year, plus it showed its value at the most recent auction of the Cape Winemakers Guild with a 12 bottle case selling for R28 000.

The third Veritas medal, Gold, went to the Boplaas Cape Vintage Reserve Port 2009. Foremost, the award highlights the longevity of Boplaas port-style wines. The awards in all also reflect reflect Boplaas’s consistent quality and skill with traditional Portuguese varieties.

Tinta Barocca was the first arrival on the farm, making its way by chance. Boplaas patriarch, Oupa Danie Nel, returned from a visit to the Swartland in the late 70’s with his Chevy El Camino packed with Shiraz. His neighbours duly finished off the wine and a decision was made to plant this variety on the farm.

It was however discovered later, in part by his son, current owner and cellar master Carel Nel, that the vines were actually Tinta Barocca. A trip to Portugal followed, where the Nel family befriended many of the Douro’s top producers. Since then, Boplaas has emerged as a leading producer of renowned fortified wines and award-winning wines made from Portuguese varieties.

The reigns of the Boplaas cellar have since been passed to Margaux Nel, who has a Masters degree in Viticulture from Stellenbosch University. Her thesis focussed on the effects of the Klein Karoo terroir on Touriga Nacional.

Time has shown that Calitzdorp is a prime location for plantings of Portuguese varieties, which thrive on less water than traditional grapes and are less sensitive to warmer climate.

The Boplaas range of wines are available for purchase from our online shop and at selected retailers across the country. There are Boplaas tasting rooms at Calitzdorp and along the Garden Route at Redberry Farm in George and Old Nick Village in Plettenberg Bay. Another is to be opened at Hart & Bosch Village in Hartenbos soon.

For more information, email or call 044 213 3326. Boplaas is also on Facebook (

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