Kayetan Meissner, sommelier at Bosman’s Restaurant at the Grande Roche Hotel, Paarl, is the winner of The Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award 2013.
Kayetan received the Riedel Glass Trophy and a trip to France, including a visit to the champagne house of Bollinger, at an exclusive event at the Queen Victoria Hotel in Cape Town's V&A Waterfront.
The Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award runner-up this year is Xolani Mancotywa, who recently took up the position of sommelier at Capital Club Dubai.
The award was established in 2011 to bring focus and recognition of achievement to the growing group of professional wine waiters in South Africa. Judges at all rounds of the annual competition include internationally trained sommeliers, Cape Wine Masters and members of the hospitality trade. The award is co-sponsored by Riedel Glassware, who provide infrastructural support for the competition, together with Vinimark The Wine Company, importers of Bollinger champagne.
Award organiser and judge Ginette de Fleuriot is very pleased with the overall results: "As runner-up in 2012, Kayetan was given a taste of what the competition is all about. He clearly took on the challenge to hone his skills so that this year he performed even better and was a clear winner."
Kayetan graduated from Varsity College with a Hotel School diploma, a course affiliated to the International Hotel School of Adelaide, Australia. Whilst working as a sommelier on board the MS Seabourn Sun and the MV Crystal Symphony, he had the opportunity to visit vineyards across the world including Bordeaux, Tuscany, Napa Valley and the Maipo Valley in Chile.
Subsequently he has worked as a sommelier at the Saxon Boutique Hotel in Johannesburg, beverage manager at the Metropolitan Grand in Bur Dubai, and sommelier at the Sandton Sun.
He is currently the cellar master at Bosman’s Restaurant at the Grande Roche Hotel in Paarl, and will be undertaking certification with the Court of Master Sommeliers later this year. His favourite South African wines come from the Swartland, his choice international wine style is Burgundy, and he loves sparkling wine and champagne.
His preferred cuisine is classical French and Italian, and his interests include food and wine, travel, history and fly-fishing.