Amorim Cork boosts upskilling of Cape Wine Protégés

Amorim Cork boosts upskilling of Cape Wine Protégés

Skills development of talented young winemakers and viticulturists through the Cape Winemakers Guild Protégé Programme has been stepped up with substantial support by Amorim Cork for the second consecutive year.

Over the past two years Amorim has donated a total of just under R200 000 towards the CWG Protégé Programme in support of transformation in the wine industry. This year’s contribution of R111 314 will be used to fund various skills development initiatives including an international harvest experience for 2nd year protégés.

The CWG Protégé Programme lays the foundation for young winemaking and viticulture interns to build a successful career through a 3-year mentorship. Established in 2006 with the long term goal of developing and empowering talented young Protégés in the South African wine industry, the CWG Protégé Programme gives oenology and viticulture graduates the rare opportunity of working side by side and learning from members of the Guild, all acclaimed masters of their craft.

“The Cape Winemakers Guild has shown itself to be the premier face of the South African wine industry in terms of quality and image. The commitment to excellence in the Guild’s wines and supreme quality on all levels is in-line with everything Amorim strives to be in its role as partner to the wine industry,” says Joaquim Sá, Managing Director of Amorim Cork South Africa.

Joaquim Sa, left, with protégés Gynore Fredericks and Morgan Steyn.

“The wine world will always be dependent on the role of passionate and knowledgeable wine people. As a sponsor of the Cape Winemakers Guild’s innovative Protégé Programme, Amorim underscores the importance of this aspect of the local wine industry. Making a contribution to growing human skills within South Africa is one of the most rewarding involvements Amorim has experienced to date,” Sá adds.

With this year’s intake of four new protégés, the total number of interns who have participated in the programme since its inception now amounts to 24, a significant contribution towards transformation of the wine industry. Under the mentorship of members of the Guild and the patronage of the Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Development Trust, a world of opportunity in the wine industry will open up for these four new apprentices.

Two of the new oenology protégés are graduates of Elsenburg Agricultural College in Stellenbosch. Gynore Fredericks of Malmesbury in the Swartland is spending her first year at Tokara under the watchful eye of Miles Mossop, chairman of the Cape Winemakers Guild, while fellow Elsenburg graduate, Elouise Kotze of Brackenfell in Cape Town’s Northern Suburbs joins David Nieuwoudt at Cederberg Private Cellar.

The third new oenology intern is Morgan Steyn of Riversdale in the South Western Cape, who is working with Louis Strydom, chairman of the Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Development Trust, at Ernie Els Wines. Morgan is a graduate of the University of Stellenbosch. Joining him at Ernie Els Wines is Anné Matthee of Paarl in the Boland. She also graduated from Stellenbosch University and is the second viticulturist protégé since the expansion of the Programme in 2015.

To date no less than 13 former protégés are pursuing promising careers in the wine industry – from private wine estates to larger corporate wine companies.