The Wine Personality of the Year award for 2011 was presented to wine legend Spatz Sperling by the Institute of Cape Wine Masters at a dinner that was held at the Old Barrel Cellar at Delheim on 7 May 2011.
Spatz came to South Africa after World War II, in 1951 to the farm De Drie Sprong, which was renamed Delheim (Del’s home) after Spatz’s aunt, Del Hoheisen, who was the original owner. Spatz’s first success was a sweet wine called ‘Spatzendreck’ being Delheim’s ‘infamous’ sweet wine which he perfected in 1961.
In 1972 Spatz, together with Neil Joubert of Spier and Frans Malan of Simonsig, established the Stellenbosch Wine Route, which was the beginning of wine tourism in South Africa and the start of all the wine routes that followed. He has also been honoured for his contribution in training young wine makers and sharing his practical knowledge and passion with them and many other people in the wine business.
He has groomed a number of highly successful present generation winemakers – Josef Kramer, Kevin Arnold, Jeff Grier, Philip Costandius, Chris Keet, Kevin Grant, Martin Meinert and Conrad Vlok. The Certificate of Honour was handed over to Spatz by the newly elected Chairman of the Institute, Dr Andy Roediger.
From left to right: Andy Roediger (Chairman ICWM), Spatz Sperling and Duimpie Baily (CWM)