The Cape Winemakers Guild is a prestigious organisation of some of the finest winemakers in the country. Entrance to the Guild is strictly by invitation and most sought after by any winemaker worth his salt. Their tastings and annual auction are highlights of the wine calendar.
Showing that they put their money (well actually the money of their sponsor, Nedbank) where their mouth is, the Guild runs an excellent Protégé Programme in which aspiring winemakers are placed with some major players in the wine business.
The new intake consists of three protégés who bring the number to 20 of those who have been given this brilliant opportunity since 2006. Peter Vakele of Khayelitsha will be working with master winemaker Louis Strydom at Ernie Els, while his fellow protégé Sydney Mello all the way from Limpopo will be working with veteran Neil Ellis. The final protégé for this year is Maryna Huisamen from Vredendal who joins David Nieuwoudt at Cederberg. The experience these young people will be gathering will be invaluable towards ensuring great futures in the SA wine industry.
Second and third year protégés have all started the year with new mentors. Rose Kruger spends the final year with Abrie Beeslaar at Kanonkop; Mahalia Matshete has started her second year at Hartenberg with Carl Schultz while Clayton Christiaans kicks off his second year at Haskell with Rianie Strydom. Kiara Scott and Logan Jooste will be spending their second years with Charles Hopkins at De Grendel.
Well, with all that talent being nurtured by the masters, things should be in good hands in the future.
Words: Greg Landman