Circle of Excellence - Cellar Tour & Blending at Slanghoek - June 2017

The Circle of Excellence members are a group of cellar workers who have been winners and finalists in the SA Cellar Worker programme since 2009. The winners and finalists are announced annually following additional theoretical and practical evaluation of the top 10 participants in the WineTech study groups. The winner and finalists become part of this circle of excellence.

The Circle of Excellence ensures that further technology transfer takes place, thereby encouraging cellar workers to become role models in the wine industry. Mentorship of these cellar workers plays an important role in the Circle of Excellence.

Currently the group gathers once a year for an information session supported by cellars, estates, role players and organisations in the wine industry, and I was privileged to join the group on Friday 2 June at Slanghoek, when Charles Botha, Senior Cellar Worker and member of the #circleofexcellence  took us on a tour of their massive cellar.  I was gob-smacked to hear that they crush enough grapes to make up 32 million litres of wine!  

After our tour, we had an informative session with Pieter Carstens, Hennus Trotzky and winemaker Werner du Plessis, who guided us through a really fun and interesting red blending experience. I was quite pleased about this, as our team has entered the Blaauwklippen blending competition this year and it gave me a teeny insight into what to consider!
I really enjoyed seeing this group of men who clearly have made their mark at their cellars, and taken on more and more responsibility, showing true development and empowerment in the wine industry.