Major prizes for emerging wine writers

Best new wine writer sought in SA
The 2022 SA Wine Writer of the Year Competition for writers 35 years old or younger, is now open to entries. This competition of the South African National Wine Show Association (SANWSA) – which also runs the Veritas Awards among others – is in its tenth year and aims to identify smart new voices in the wine industry.
The competition this year comprises two categories: one for wine-related articles and one for blogs. The respective winners will each receive prize money of R2 500, while the overall winner will pocket R15 000.
“We are delighted that the competition continues to find new wine writing talent in such a vibrant industry like ours,” says the organisation’s chairperson, Christo Pienaar.
“Our media partner, WineLand Media, has offered to publish the winning articles and blogs with guidance from the editorial staff. We will also continue our collaborating with the Departments of Journalism at the University of Stellenbosch, University of Cape Town UCT and Cape Technicon to encourage their students to also engage in writing about wine.
“We believe that this competition creates a new avenue for writers and bloggers to express themselves and thereby inspire others to join in the exciting field of sharing views on wine-related matters.
“As a stakeholder in the wine industry, we have a responsibility to ensure that we are part of the discussion surrounding South African wine and that we help to cultivate a culture of wine interest and knowledge among wine consumers,” says Pienaar.
Says WineLand Media editor, Wanda Augustyn, “The wine industry is such an exciting industry to work in. As the voice of the winelands, WineLand Media has a responsibility to find enchanting new, young voices to write about wine. We need to give these voices a platform to influence responsibly and help create an informed audience that fully understands the magic of the wine industry.”
Entrants are to complete one or both of the following assignments:
  • Magazine Print Article –1 000 words in English or Afrikaans
  • Blog Web Article – a 600 words blog in English or Afrikaans
The topics include: The evolution of wine communication, The future of e-commerce in wine, Investigating the importance of wine competitions, Farming for the future, as well as Organic wine, friend or fad? See full details below.
The competition is open to all South African citizens or residents aged 18 – 35 years. No full-time or established wine writers or previous wine writer winners are eligible to enter.
The entries will be judged by a panel of experienced and distinguished South African wine writers. Participants are to present theses in MS Word format to: admin@veritas.co.za, along with a completed entry form and short CV, stating specific details of possible previous wine-writing activities.
Topics for the competition are
A.    Write a Magazine article in the third person of 1 000 words in Afrikaans/English on one of the topics below within the context of the wine industry. The article can be a profile, investigation, lifestyle, technology, or current affairs treatment of the topic. Include perspectives of at least three credible sources in the wine value chain.
B.    Write a Blog Web Article of 600 words on any of the other topics below.
The article can be a profile, investigation, lifestyle, technology, or current affairs treatment of the topic.
1.     The evolution of wine communication
The role of communication in the wine industry has evolved in the era of digital and social media. Investigate how the landscape has changed both internationally and locally while looking at the following:
–           The importance of communication in the wine industry
–           Role of bloggers, influencers, wine writers / journalists in the industry
–           Pitfalls and advantages of new age communication
–           Responsible marketing through wine communication
–           What local wine communicators can learn from international peers
–           Use relevant statistics
Write an article in which you explore and discuss how these themes have changed the role of wine communication.
2.     The future of e-commerce in wine.
According to recent statistics, wine e-commerce has slumped back to pre-Covid levels. After being the industry’s saving grace during lockdown and what was thought to be the next big thing in wine trade, what has driven this downward trend and what does the future hold for this channel?
3.     South African wines have had wonderful successes in various competitions abroad. Investigate the various competitions SA wines have excelled in while looking at the following:
–        The importance/role of wine competitions
–        What does this mean for Brand SA
–    How do you use this in marketing a brand
4.     Farming for the future
As climate change and rising populations affect global agriculture production, farmers – including grape-growers – must look at alternative methods and new technology to help them grow food (and wine grapes!) sustainably, and in harmony with nature.
–        What modern-day farming techniques and technology is being developed and applied towards a more financially prosperous, climate-resilient and decarbonising agriculture sector in South Africa and abroad.
–        What does the agriculture world of tomorrow look like?
5.     Organic wine, friend or fad?
Organic wines are in high demand in a time when consumers want to consume more responsibly and healthy. Investigate this trend while looking at
–        Stats and status quo in South Africa
–        Demand locally
–        Demand internationally
–        Benchmarking SA with other countries on the forefront of organic wine production.
The closing date for entries is 18 November 2022 and the date for the announcement of the winners is 7 December. Requests for entry forms or any enquiries may be directed to the SANWSA at the e-mail address below.
For more information, contact the SANWSA/Veritas office at tel 021 8631599, e-mail info@veritas.co.za or visit www.veritas.co.za.
ChristO Pienaar: “We believe that this competition creates a new avenue for writers and bloggers to express themselves and thereby inspire others to join in the exciting field of sharing views on wine-related matters. “

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