Vino for victory

30 August 2011 | Story by Newsroom

UCT stealing the Varsity Cup from Stellenbosch University is not going to be the intervarsity upset of the year. Not after UCT's Wine and Cultural Society travelled to Stellenbosch wine country and returned, triumphant, with the title of Backsberg Vino Intervarsity 2011 Challenge champions.

UCT Wine Scociety UCT Wine Scociety
Wining winners: The UCT team of (back, from left) Lusanda Zibaya, coach Andrew Chigorimbo, David Beeton, captain Doug Hoernle, Nick Hoernle, Chido Chikumbu, Tom Njeru and (front, from left) Chris Parker and Caroline Murray celebrate their victory at the Backsberg Vino Intervarsity 2011 Challenge. Discerning: UCT's Tom Njeru, Chido Chikumbu and captain Doug Hoernle try to identify a particular wine, while organiser Simon Back (at back) prepares for the next test.

The UCT students trounced Maties - yes, budding winemakers from the Institute for Wine Biotechnology and all - and a very game if small travelling party from Rhodes University in the event, hosted at the Backsberg Estate Cellars on 19 August. The UCT victory was resounding, the team winning all three categories: a blind tasting, a general knowledge quiz, and a debate on which wine-grape variety should be South Africa's poster variety. (The UCT students championed Chenin blanc.)

And, no, the event isn't just an excuse to polish off a few bottles of fine local produce, explains Simon Back, the UCT alumnus who, as marketing manager at his family's Backsberg Estate Cellars, launched the competition a couple of years ago. While the event aims to be fun, the students, aka the next generation of wine buyers, are also put through their paces on the day to test their credentials as connoisseurs in the making.

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