The Institute of Cape Wine Masters has welcomed six newcomers to its ranks of wine experts who have completed a five-year study programme on local and international wine, ending with a comprehensive tasting examination and a final dissertation on a selected topic of relevance to the local wine industry.
Three of the new CWMs are from Gauteng: food scientist and nutritionist Sandy Harper; food and wine entrepreneur Debi van Flymen; and pharmaceutical and wine management consultant Conrad Louw.
The other three are all Stellenbosch University BSc viticulture and oenology graduates working in the winelands: Francois Bezuidenhout (MAN Family Wines winemaker); Marius Malan (Malanot Wines); and Nina-Mari Bruwer (Mont Blois).
At the induction ceremony at Groot Constantia, several special awards were made to those who had shown an exceptional grasp of a specific field of study. Sandy was recognised for her knowledge of viticulture, Francois of winemaking, Marius of sparkling wine and Nina-Mari of brandy.
The six dissertations cover topics such as wine tasting clubs as a potential marketing channel; the importance of Bordeaux-style reds; the future of sherry; the role of grower-owned/co-operative wineries; the influence of the Swartland; and sensory analytical tools for wine evaluation.
Approved as providing valuable perspectives to wine research in South Africa, the dissertations are available to industry and consumers for perusal at the Cape Wine Academy (CWA) and South African Wine Industry Information & Systems (SAWIS) libraries, as well as on the CWA website.
Earlier, at the CWM AGM, La Motte CEO Hein Koegelenberg, co-owner of the farm with his wife Hanneli Rupert-Koegelenberg, was presented with the prestigious Personality of the Year award.
He was lauded for his efforts to help the Cape Wine Academy continue its education programmes after private investors had withdrawn their support. He has instigated local education programmes for the unqualified and jobless, and launched a sales training course in major emerging wine market China in collaboration with his Chinese business partner in their Franschhoek-based joint wine production and export venture, Perfect Wines.
Winnie Bowman (a Platter’s Guide taster) was elected chair of the Institute, succeeding Andy Roediger.
This latest crop of new industry experts brings to 88 the total number of CWMs to have graduated since the programme was introduced in 1984.
Eleven CWMs are currently based overseas in the UK, Australia, Germany and the US, and there are three honorary members: Phyllis Hands (CWA principal from its inception in 1979 until 1995) and wine judges Dave Hughes and Colin Frith.