A short history and background

The Michelangelo International Wine and Spirits Awards was established in 1997 as the only international wine competition in South Africa. The competition is unique in South Africa, in that all judges are hand-picked wine experts, representing all seven continents around the globe. Since the start of the Michelangelo, more than 165 different judges from 43 countries have served on the panels.

The Michelangelo International Wine ans Spirits Awards of South Africa is a totally independent competition and is mainly self-funding. Our primary objective remains to support local wine makers who are targeting international markets for exports and, through our international judges, are able to determine whether their wines will be well received both abroad and locally.

The competition annually receives in the region of 2 000 wine, brandy and liqueur entries from both South Africa and international producers around the globe. These are judged blind by panels of 5 judges, using the 100-point international OIV system.

Meeting New Challenges

2003 marked the start of a new era for the competition when the Michelangelo International Wine Awards moved to Stellenbosch, the main wine producing area of South Africa. During that year the organisers introduced the first of a number of trophies, namely the Grand Prix trophy for the best entry, the Pinotage trophy and a trophy for the best Garagiste wine entered into the competition.

Opening up to international entries

In 2003 the organisers were approached by a number of foreign producers who wanted to enter the competition, and as a result the competition was opened to international entries.

Sixteen foreign wines were entered in that year, among them the Australian Wilson’s Oak Chardonnay 2001 which was awarded one of only 19 Grand D’Or medals in total in that year. A further three international entries, namely from Italy, France and Australia were, awarded silver medals in the same year.

Since then both importers of foreign wine, brandy and liqueurs into South Africa and producers from other countries who are seeking representation in South Africa have entered their products. International entries are judges together with local entries and are all considered for the Michelangelo International Wine Trophy, awarded to the best foreign entry.

The Michelangelo International Liqueur Awards

2014 saw the launch of South Africa’s first Michelangelo International Liqueur Awards. As this is the only opportunity for producers of liqueurs and fruit wines in South Africa, the new awards were well received and will continue to allow producers to give their liqueurs some long-overdue recognition.

Annual Trophies

1. MCC Grand Prix Trophy
2. MCC Dessert Grand Prix Trophy
3. Toneleria Necional Coffee Pinotage Trophy
4. JF Hilebrand Pinotage Trophy
5. Michelangelo Golden Oldie Trophy
6. Michelangelo Brandy Trophy
7. Michelangelo Garagiste Trophy
8. RX South Africa Organic Trophy
9. Juvenal Chenin Blanc Trophy
10. TM Mercurey French Style Red Blend Trophy
11. African Cellar Suppliers Methode Classique Trophy

12. IQ Business Most Innovative Wine Trophy
13. TRANE Cape Blend Trophy
14. TRANE International Trophy
15. Michelangelo Liqueur Trophy
16. NEW! SACDI Trophy for Most Innovative Spirits NEW!
17. NEW! SACDI Trophy for Craft Gin NEW!
18. NEW! SACDI Trophy for Craft Vodka NEW!
19. NEW! SACDI Trophy for Craft Rum NEW!
20. NEW! African Celler Supplies Pinot Noir Trophy NEW!
21. TSOGO SUN Cabernet Franc Trophy

Michelangelo Awards Today

As you can see Michelangelo Awards have evolved and grown over the years, adjusting to changes in the market and adapting to meet customer needs. This cannot take place without internal adjustments.

In 2016 the company changed its structure to ensure flexibility and applying experience and skill to each responsibility. When dealing with Michelangelo Awards you will meet the following people:

Group Executives

Lorraine Immelman image
Founder and CEO

Lorraine Immelman



Dirk Harris image

Dirk Harris

Award Sticker Orders and Entries



Barry de Vries image

Barry de Vries

Logistics and Events



Mynard Slabbert image

Mynard Slabbert

Franchising and Sponsorships