“Although we now focus entirely on the export business, I originally founded Top12Wines in 2010, with the intention to develop a fair and unbiased public ranking of the best wines in South Africa.
The idea was to have all the absolute best wines ranked fairly by the public, by wine lovers, via weekly blind tastings by 10-30 tasters at a time, and feed an public ranking to be used by end consumers, sommeliers and other professionals.
Really, the true purpose was to heal my frustration that wine lovers are too often dictated by wine professionals what wine they must enjoy and buy. I believed that “if you want to the consumer’s favorite wines, ask the question to them directly, and to no one else!”.
All tastings were blind, and every tastings result fed the current rankings of the category on www.top12wines.com. Leading wines qualified for the next tastings against challengers sourced from a Selection List of award-winning wines available in the market. Tasting samples were provided by the wineries.
Top12Wines gathered a crowd of faithful followers and was chosen by BlackBerry as one of the only seventeen “BlackBerry 10 Partners” in Africa for the worldwide launch of BlackBerry in 2013. Back then, BlackBerry sponsored the development of a Top12Wines App which featured rankings and an online store.
Over time, Top12Wines became a well-known concept in South Africa, and had grown into a trusted source of public wine rankings.
In 2020, after ten years of existence, more than 500 comparative blind tastings, and 10000 tasters, the Covid-19 Pandemic halted our tastings for over a year.
The time had come for Top12Wines to take another path, and to focus exclusively on the international development of carefully selected wineries. The wineries we partner with have not been chosen randomly. We chose them because of the regular performance of their wines at the top of our rankings, in various varietal, wine type, and price categories.
We have embraced this new path of our history, with dedication and passion…”
Founder of Top12Wines