Low-lying clouds and gripping cold surrounded Backsberg last Friday as Vino Varsity 2013 was about to kick off. It wasn’t long until the heat was turned up. The UCT bus arrived with a group of supporters, wearing warrior face-paint and chanting deep-pitched war cries. Tuks entered the arena with a four-man strong team and one supporter, walking tall and sussing out the competition. Nothing could intimidate them. They were here for one thing – the trophy! Maties arrived fashionably late, dressed in red and black attire, sporting top hats. They filled the venue, looked confident and repeatedly belted out Maties songs of encouragement!

The first round comprised 30 general knowledge questions covering wine history, winemaking and international wines. Maties had their A game on and dominated this section.

All was not lost; the second round commenced and Ikeys confidently announced that this would be their round for the taking. Teams tasted through ten flights of wines. Each flight comprised three wines. Teams had to identify cultivars, origins, vintages, RS levels and faults, amongst other questions. Someone quipped that the only fault to a wine is “that it has not been drunk yet!”

Round three would decide the competition. Teams debated the topic of alcohol advertising and the effects of the proposed ban. Arguments were varied and all three presentations differed in style, delivery and content. Tuks wowed us with a concise and to-the-point, factual slideshow presentation. Maties looked at the other side of the coin by asking “well what if we don’t ban alcohol advertising?” and Ikeys posed an argument relaying it back to real-life saying that alcohol does not cause alcoholism – individuals cause alcoholism. All very interesting angles and the judges had a difficult time deciding on the overall best. It was decided that the flow, content and presentation of Ikeys was the best.

After three rounds, back-and-forth war banter between the teams, a few sips of vino, and a well-deserved boerie roll, the winning team was announced.
Maties! Winners of the fifth Vino Varsity Challenge for the fourth time! Cheers erupted and the winning team enjoyed the spoils of their win – a 1987 bottle of Backsberg Klein Babylonstoren and their names etched into the Vino Varsity Decanter Trophy.

Tuks achieved second place and UCT third by only a couple of point’s difference. It was a great day. The judges imparted great advice and extensive wine knowledge. Angela Lloyd, Mark Norrish and Chris Williams were an asset to the judging panel and there was no shortage of wit either.

For info

For more information call 021 875 5141 or visit www.backsberg.co.za.