If like me, you, love great food and even better wine – then you will want to find out more about the Wine & Food Tourism Awards which is being hosted alongside the highly anticipated Wine & Food Tourism Conference in September this year.

“The aim of this new awards platform is to recognise those individuals and teams who have made exceptional contributions to the development and promotion of the South African wine and food tourism industry,” says Margi Biggs, wine and gourmet tourism specialist and convenor of the Wine & Food Tourism Conference.

“We have so much in our favour in South Africa. We have physical beauty, we have critically acclaimed wines that have captured the attention of leading tastemakers. Our restaurants and gastronomy are renowned. Once again, we feature on the list of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2018. Our ingredients are fresh, traceable and delicious. Our food markets routinely star on social media. We are globally known for our friendly hospitality. These are all massive drawcards.

“We are also delighted to announce that Jean-Pierre Rossouw will serve as the awards programme chairperson, overseeing the judging panel. Publisher of Platter’s South African Wine Guide, the country most authoritative guide on local wines, as well as of Rossouw’s Restaurant Guide, an independently-minded guide on the South African dining landscape, Rossouw is a well-known and respected personality in the country’s wine and food industry,” Biggs explains.

The judging categories of the Wine & Food Tourism Awards 2019 are:

– Innovation, recognising outstanding and original innovation in concepts, products and/or services that make a valuable contribution, offer unique experiences, and/or boost food and/or wine tourism in South Africa;

– Service Excellence, highlighting those in South Africa’s wine and food industries who excel in service, consistently providing memorable customer experiences; and

– The Authentic South African Experience, acknowledging initiatives that create experiences true to the South African culture in which consumers can fully immerse themselves, at the same time promoting the country’s cultural heritage through wine and food.

Judges come from the wine and hospitality industry and include names such as Higgo Jacobs, Steve Massey and André Morgenthal.

There will be a maximum of three honorees in each category, and each of them will get the opportunity to include the Wine & Food Tourism Awards 2019 logo on all their marketing material for the following year. Individuals or teams who have been named as honorees for three years in a row will receive membership to the elite Wine & Food Tourism Honourees Club. Thereafter they will not be eligible to be nominated for the same award again.

Participants may nominate as many wine and/or food establishments as they wish, in any or all of the categories. A separate form needs to be submitted for each nomination. There is an administration fee of R600 per application/nomination.

Nominations could be submitted via the website, www.wineandfood.co.za, from 2 April 2019. The closing date for participants to submit their nominations is 10 June 2019.

The honorees per category of the Wine & Food Tourism Awards 2019 will be announced at the Wine & Food Tourism Conference 2019, taking place on 18 September 2019 at Spier near Stellenbosch.

Go to www.wineandfood.co.za for more information, to register for the conference, and to download awards nomination forms.

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