CWG Protege program turns 10

The Cape Winemakers Guild is a very sought after organisation, membership of which is only accessible to winemakers if their wines are consistently of internationally good standing, have done so for a winery for 5 years and only then are they likely to be considered to be a member of the CWG.  Even then, they need to satisfy a number of other broader criteria, so it is a tough ask!  There are currently only 47 members.  10 years ago they started the CWG Protégé Programme, which gives aspirant winemakers the rare opportunity of working side by side with members of the Guild, all masters of their craft, during a three-year internship. The annual CWG auction raises a considerable sum which contributes largely to this program, and Nedbank has been the main sponsor for many years and recently the Cape Wine Auction also contributes towards this worthy cause.

The proteges also get to participate in the Burgundy Exchange program, which affords them a fabulous opportunity to travel in France in Burgundy, Champagne, Rhone and Bordeaux and experience and learn how the French do things.

The 2016 Protégés are Mahalia Kotjane, Maryna Huysamen, Kiara Scott, Rose Kruger, Sydney Mello, Clayton Christians, Banele Vakele (all Oenology) and Logan Jooste(who is doing the new Viticulturist program - and he is currently on a study tour in Australia with VinPro)

To date twenty Protégés have participated in the programme, including Praisy Dlamini, Tamsyn Jeftha, Howard Booysen, Sacha Claassen, Elmarie Botes, Thornton Pillay, Heinrich Kulsen, Chandré Petersen, Philani Shongwe, Thornton Pillay, Wade Sander and Ricardo Cloete who have graduated from the programme and are now working within the South African wine industry, predominantly within the larger organisations like Distell, KWV and DGB, but there are few few now who have branched out to smaller wineries.