South African Airways Scores Major Airline Wine Competition Successes Prestigious Tasting Says SAA Has Best Business Class White

15 August 2012

JohannesburgSouth African Airways has won first place in the business class white wine section of Global Traveler’s prestigious “Wine on the Wing” competition and placed second in the red wine section, securing an overall second place for the best business class wine offering on international routes.

The announcement was made yesterday by US-based Global Traveler, the only ABC-audited magazine for business and luxury travellers. Organised for the eighth time, the annual blind tasting competition was judged in New York by 28 wine experts from a range of vinicultural professions. In total, 29 major airlines from around the world participated, providing 134 samples for tasting.

SAA’s Driehoek Sauvignon Blanc 2011 was the winner in the business class white wine section, beating offerings by several global airlines. In the business class red wine category, SAA came second.

“Coming hard on the heels of the latest Skytrax Awards which confirmed SAA’s standing as the best airline in Africa for the tenth year in a row and recognised our staff service as the best on the continent for the third year in succession, these wine awards again prove that we measure ourselves with the best in the world,” said Theunis Potgieter, SAA’s Commercial General Manager. “Because we are always working to make flying SAA a fantastic experience, we put immense effort into choosing excellent local wines, sourcing menus from some of our country’s best chefs, and ensuring that our in-flight personnel offer  truly South African hospitality on board every flight.”

SAA was placed second in the overall evaluation of wines offered on international business class flights, ahead of several well-known airlines. “These awards reemphasise the important role that SAA plays in helping promote South Africa’s wine industry. Every year we host the SAA Wine Awards through which we eventually select the wines that we serve on board our flights,” said Potgieter.

“We are incredibly proud of our wine survey and the success of South African Airways,” said Francis X. Gallagher, publisher and CEO of Global Traveler. “A big congratulation to SAA who for many years and from personal experience has some of the finest wines in the air. The survey continues to grow year after year, and our readers value this information.”