Drinks Business Global Cabernet Franc Masters 2024


Bruce Jack bags another Masters Medal. This time with the “Ghost in the Machine” Cabernet Franc

The Ghost in the Machine Cabernet Franc from Bruce Jack Wines is crafted from two immaculate mountain vineyards in South Africa, one on the fashionable Helderberg mountain in the Stellenbosch ward and one in the mysterious, unknown, southern range of the Ashton Mountain. The high-altitude vineyards are both hand-picked and wild fermented separately in open-top fermenters with soft, manual punch downs to sympathetically allow natural colour and tannin extraction. A 100% gravity flow production process culminates in a traditional basket press with the wine going to older French barrels for 14 months maturation, prior to being bottling and labelled.

A “Master’s Medal”, means the wine received the highest possible award in the blind tasting competition by a judging panel of Masters of Wine and Master Sommeliers, led by Patrick Schmitt MW.


About Bruce Jack Wines and his Ghost in the Machine range

Bruce may be one of the world’s most experienced winemakers, having made wine on four continents for over 30 years, but this hasn’t dulled his determination always to push boundaries and continually experiment. The one certainty is that there is always something new, always a fresh take on the world of wine. That and the fact that

With the “Ghost in the Machine” range he has done something extraordinary – crafted “hipster-style” alternative wines using early-picked, whole bunch red ferments and “natural” skin contact whites from specific vineyards that can be scaled. The project has been 15 years in the planning. The chosen vineyards first had to be found, managed and tweaked to produce the fruit required for the style of wine he envisaged. Then years of experimentation followed in the cellar, before the range was quietly launched in 2001. Immediately the 2019 Ghost Shiraz received a Masters Medal. The following year the 2020 vintage was chosen as South Africa’s best Shira at the Trophy Wine Show – South Africa’s toughest competition. The 2022 Ghost Cab Franc is the 3rd wine entered into these competitions. So far it appears the wait has been worth it.

To reflect the individual winecraft in each bottle, Bruce designed a world first label with designer Rohan Etsebeth of Archival Studio – so creating a unique way of packaging. This ensures that each bottle carries a unique label – always different from the bottle next to it. This is achieved by using three labels on each bottle and passing the bottle through the labelling machine more than once. It’s a world-first production-led packaging innovation in the wine industry and possible a world first in any consumer product category. Can you think of any other consumer product made on a commercial scale where every single unit has a unique label? It proves that more production managers should have a say in marketing decisions.

As Bruce says: “The Ghost in the Machine range of wines exists to allow winemaking imagination and passion free reign… these wines are disinterested in market trends or the whims of wine writers and commentators – we craft these wines to dance that beautiful dance whose beat is the seasons and whose music is luck.”

 About the Global Wine Masters

The Global Wine Masters have rewarded excellence in winemaking since 2013, helping quality brands to stand out and consumers to drink with confidence. Through its unique structure – defining categories by grape variety or style rather than region – the competition series lets the finest wines in the world compete against each other. Every competition is judged by the very best palates in the world: Masters of Wine, Master Sommeliers and senior buyers.

The Global Wine Masters award wines Bronze, Silver and Gold medals, and Master medals for the very best entries.

The results of each competition are published in The Drinks Business magazine and website (circulation of 13,000 print copies and 1.9 million webpage visits per month).

 The inaugural Global Cabernet Franc Masters took place in London on the 11th of January, as one of the 27 Global Wine Masters competitions taking place in 2024, organised by industry leading publication The Drinks Business. 5 wines were eventually awarded a “Masters Medal”.

Among thousands of entries in 2023, just 4% won a Master Medal, making this one of the toughest wine competitions globally. According to the rigorous judging criteria, a Master medallist must be ‘an outstanding example of its type, showing impeccable winemaking’.