The Ultra Value Wine Challenge provides an objective, independent and professional rating of South Africa’s best value wines.  All wines sell for under R150 per bottle.   Judging panels are comprised of prominent and experienced local experts who can objectively assess just how good a wine really is. Each panel enjoys a talented mix of wine fundi’s and a hugely respected chair, adding to the level of debate and the rigour of achieving a final wine-quality score.

Tasting Director – Higgo Jacobs


Higgo Jacobs is the dedicated Tasting Director. He oversees flight creation and wine logistics during the Ultra Value Wine Challenge judgement week.  Well respected in SA and abroad, Higgo has built his reputation over fifteen years of diverse and exciting work in the wine industry.  Higgo is also a respected sommelier and judge in key South African circles. He obtained his Court of Master Sommeliers’ Certificate as well as the WSET Advanced qualification whilst working in the UK.

Tasting Protocol

The methodology applied in the Ultra Value Wine Challenge is based on years of group experience.  It represents recognised best global practice in all respects.


  1. White wines will be served at approximately 14°C
  2. Red wines will be served at approximately 19°C
  3. Bubblies will be served at approximately 7°C
  4. Two bottles are used per tasting flight
  5. One bottle is opened and poured shortly before the actual tasting
  6. Additional bottles are prepared and ready in the instance of faults, re tastes, etc.



Riedel glassware is used.

Judging Process

  1. The Ultra Value Wine Challenge Chair is Ginette De Fleuriot CWM
  2. Judges are independent and answer to panel chairs and to the Challenge chair
  3. Wines are tasted blind
  4. Discussion is allowed for faulty wines
  5. There is post flight panel discussion, score calibration and score recording
  6. Following the initial tastings, and as an absolute minimum, wines within a certain score band can be re tasted twice further in order to confirm their placement
  7. Wines are tasted in similar flights
  8. The 20-point scoring system is applied to record wine quality
  9. Winning wines will be all those that score above a certain threshold, likely around 15/20
  10. An algorithm formula will adjust score by the price attractiveness for a final Value result
“A trusted list of wines; buy better wines with confidence”