EKOV Inducts new members & Wine Training SA shows talent

Today was the first time (apparently) that any media were invited to attend the EKOV (Elsenburg Keldertechnologie Oudstudente Vereneging) induction.  This year it was held 'bo-die-berg' at Aan de Doorns with about 80-100 attendees.  With Elsenburg being 40 years old, I was surprised that there were so few alumni, and during the presentation, Pieter Carstens, the inductor, encourage the group and EKOV to be more active and committed, especially to support Wine Training & SKOP programs and events.

The induction process was a little cult-like to me, with a strangely dressed Pieter Carstens doffing the inductees on their shoulders with a whip-like stick. A mini-knighthood for the new winemakers!

One of the best things to come out of EKOV is the SKOP (Senior Kelder Opleidings Program) training sessions, and this has developed a lot over years, giving cellar workers a chance to improve their skill sets, and to be inspired and motivated.  The training courses are now run ably by Wine Training SA, headed up by stalwart Emma Burger, who has done wonderful work to get their courses SETA accredited.
Bradley van Niekerk was one of the EKOV inductees - who in fact graduated in 2008, and has worked at Distell for a number of years.  He is a valuable addition to the WTSA board.
EKOV is still a very white male dominant group and we have a long way to go to shift this.

I was very encouraged to see Bradley be inducted and also to see him and Mario Damon on the board of WTSA. Mario has been a powerful mentor to SKOP graduate and Circle of Excellence member, Heinrich La Fleur, who has been doing a learnership with him at DGB.

Congrats and welcome to the new EKOV members!