Described by the late Gerard Basset Master of Wine, as “…rapidly becoming as coveted as Michelin stars”, the World’s Best Wine Lists awards attract restaurants with serious wine programs and a desire to be recognized on a global stage. Once a year, the awards ceremony is hosted in London by The World of Fine Wine, after entries were assessed by some of the world’s leading wine critics and Masters of Wine on a world-class judging panel chaired by The World of Fine Wine Editor, Neil Beckett.

At last night’s ceremony, an unassuming small restaurant, called Mosaic at The Orient, tucked away in the furthest corner of the Crocodile River Valley near Pretoria, walked away with three major international and a bushel full of regional awards. Attended by Annerie van der Merwe (Cellar Master) and Moses Magwaza (Sommelier), they were the stars of the evening, swamped after the ceremony by the international media and well-wishers, representing Restaurant Mosaic yet again on another global stage.

Well known internationally for its chef, Chantel Dartnall’s, exquisite botanical cuisine, it has slowly built up an equal reputation for their wine cellar and the team’s skilfulness for mouth- watering wine pairings. The cellar, now hosting more than 80 000 bottles of the rarest and most sought after wines in the world, did not take long to attract worldwide attention, filling the walls of the restaurant with the most coveted local and international awards.

Last night, Mosaic did it again – snatching up the Best Wine List in the World award right under the noses of more than a 1000 global contenders, many of whom are three Michelin stared restaurants, to bring the award home to African soil. But this was not all – they also received the Best Hotel Wine list in the World award, together with the regional awards for the best wine list in Africa and the Middle East for:

  • Best Hotel Wine List
  • Best Long Wine List
  • Best Champagne & Sparkling Wine List
  • Best Dessert & Fortified Wine List
  • Best Spirits List
  • Best By-the-Glass Wine List with Coravin

You may think it cannot get any better, but with the Mosaic Team as our South African Cuisine Ambassadors, the world is filled with surprises – in October they will be jetting off to New York to attend the global award ceremony for Wine Spectator’s Best Wine List Awards to see if they can yet again bring home another accolade to show the rest of the world that there are many things in South Africa to be proud of – one being a small 40 seater restaurant tucked away in a quiet corner on the outskirts of Johannesburg and Pretoria.

About The World’s Best Wine List Awards

The World’s Best Wine Lists awards, presented by The World of Fine Wine Magazine is now in its 6th year, and celebrates quality, passion and creativity in wine lists globally. Having established its reputation among restaurants world-wide, the World’s Best Wine Lists is the most rigorous and prestigious accolade in the industry. In 2018 there were over 1,000 entrants from 69 countries, with 15 winners being recognised as the finest of their kind globally.

The three-time Louis Roederer International Wine Publication of the Year winner, The World of Fine Wine has subscribers across 30 countries, covering a broad spectrum of wine lovers. The awards were launched to honor the work of those who curate and create wine programs, and to act as a trusted resource for consumers through a star rating system.

Entries are assessed by some of the world’s leading wine critics and Masters of Wine on a world-class judging panel chaired by The World of Fine Wine Editor, Neil Beckett. The lists are judged across a range of criteria that include depth, interest, quality, value, clarity, and accuracy.  Among this year’s judges were Chinese wine writer Chng Poh Tiong, columnist for Wine Life and RVF China which published the world’s first Chinese Bordeaux Guide in 2000; award-winning English wine writer and columnist for, Andrew Jefford; Swedish sommelier Andreas Larsson, previous winner of Best Sommelier of the World; American wine and spirits columnist for Bloomberg Markets, international wine judge and a contributor to publications such as Food & Wine and The New York Times, American wine and restaurant blogger and publisher of Vinography, Alder Yarrow and the UK’s Francis Percival from The World of Fine Wine.

About Executive Chef Chantel Dartnall

Award-winning Chef Chantel Dartnall has enhanced South Africa’s status as a gourmet destination on the international culinary map, thanks to her meticulous approach to modern fine dining at the celebrated Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient. She was named as the world’s Best Female Chef at The Best Chef Awards in Warsaw, Poland in 2017 and has twice been named South African Chef of the Year at the annual Eat Out Restaurant Awards, first in 2009, and then again in 2014. Dartnall combines her classical French training with her love of nature and is well-known for creating the art of nature on her plates with delightful botanical dishes. Inspired by her travels abroad and by the setting of Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient in the Francolin Conservancy, she is passionate about using organic and seasonal produce with her innovative approach to food preparation and presentation. After graduating from the Prue Leith Chef‘s Academy, acclaimed UK chef Nico Ladenis offered Dartnall a position in the kitchen of his three-star Michelin restaurant, Chez Nico at 90 Park Lane, in London. Dartnall has also worked with Michael Caines at Gidleigh Park in Devon, a two Michelin star establishment, while chefs such as Ladenis, Alain Ducasse and Marco Pierre White set the standards by which she measured herself on her return to South Africa.

About Sommelier, Moses Magwaza

Moses Magwaza is a true success story – born in Kwa-Zulu Natal he started out more than a decade ago as a gardener at the acclaimed Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient, progressing to being a porter and then waiter, before Wine Director, Cobus du Plessis, recognized his potential and embarked on a journey to groom this now world-class sommelier.  “I don’t remember all the details about my first glass of wine except that it was a Rosé and that it captured my imagination. I didn’t realise then that it would change the course of my life” says Magwaza. He is a two-time recipient of the coveted Wine Service Award at the 2017 and 2018 Eat Out Awards and has passed several courses, currently completing his Level 3 at The Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), a British organisation which is regarded as one of the world’s leading providers of wine education.

About Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient’s Wine Cellar

The award-winning Restaurant Mosaic has been celebrated internationally for its cellar which boasts more than 80 000 bottles of wine under just over 6 500 different local and international labels. The selection of brandies, including an extensive range of Armagnac and Calvados, are unmatched anywhere else on the African continent. According to wine writer and judge Alder Yarrow: “If you’re interested in South African wine, there’s no better place to drink and no better list to have a glass from.”

Restaurant Mosaic is located in The Orient Private Hotel in the Francolin Conservancy, Elandsfontein, Pretoria.