Cape Winemakers Guild protégées to gain experience in France and the USA!


Three Cape Winemakers Guild protégés are to be sent overseas by the Cape Winemakers Guild’s Protégé Programme, to gain international experience. The Protégé Programme seeks to promote transformation in the wine industry.   Second year Oenology students Banele Vakele of Khayelitsha and Sydney Mello of Mahwelereng in Limpopo will be travelling to Burgundy in France. During their time in France, Banele (mentored by Boela Gerber at Groot Constantia), and Sydney (working with Johan Malan of Simonsig) will be enrolled at the Centre of Vocational Training and Agricultural Promotion in Beaune, the wine capital of Burgundy. Not only will they receive formal leadership training, but they will also gain hands-on experience at small family-owned wine estates. They will also travel throughout the famous wine growing regions of France, including Champagne, Bordeaux, and Côtes du Rhône.

Maryna Huysamen of Vredendal, doing her second internship year with Charles Hopkins of De Grendel, is spending a harvest season at Alexander Valley Vineyards in California, in the USA, to experience first-hand how things are done in that country, and to gain valuable insights into the American winemaking culture.

Nine protégés have been given the opportunity to gain international experience since 2013, the year of inception of the Protégé Programme, under the auspices of the Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Development Trust. A total of 24 wine students have done through the Cape Winemakers Guild Protégë Programme to date in the past eleven years.

Nedbank Executivec Head for Corporate Social Investment Lindiwe Temba explains why the Bank is supporting the Cape Winemakers Guild Protége Programme: ‘At Nedbank, applying our financial expertise to do good takes on many different shapes and forms, that is why we have contributed over R2,5 million towards the Protégé Programme. This initiative enables us to empower individuals while contributing to the transformation of the wine industry. The bank’s long-standing partnership with the CWG and in particular with the Protégé Programme is testament to its commitment to creating opportunities for the development of South Africa’s future industry leaders. We are humbled by the progress and milestones of the Protégé Programme and every year, we look forward to experiencing the remarkable work of these young talented individuals’. 

‘To help raise funds for the Protégé Programme, a special charity item goes under the hammer each year at the Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction. This year auction goers can look forward to a one-of-a-kind Members’ Collection of 44 magnum 1,5 litre bottles – a wine from every Guild member with a wine on the 2017 auction. The collection, embodying the craftsmanship and camaraderie of the members of the Guild, is packaged in beautifully crafted wooden boxes’, the media statement received explains. All monies raised through the charity auction are ploughed back into the Protégé Programme, to develop aspiring young winemakers and viticulturists.

The funds for the Protégé Programme are also raised through a Silent Auction of past auction wines and other top wines made by Guild members. Some of the items this year will be wines by this year’s protégé graduates: Mahalia Kotjane Three Quarters Shiraz 2016, Kiara Scott Ernest Syrah 2016, and Clayton Christians The Pendulum Chardonnay 2016.

The 33rd Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction is open to the public, and will be held at the Spier Conference Centre in the Stellenbosch Winelands on Saturday 30 September. Registration for the Auction and VIP Lounge closes on Wednesday 20 September. Telephonic and proxy bidding options are available to those unable to attend in person. 

Cape Winemakers Guild. Tel (021) 852-0408. Twitter: @capeWinemakersG

Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein Instagram: @Chris_Ulmenstein


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