Winetech Workshop for Senior Cellar Assistants Upington

The Winetech senior cellar assistant workshop was recently presented at Upington to Orange River Cellars’ team leaders, with a SKOP 3 qualification. This workshop was one of four senior workshops previously presented in the Breedekloof, Wellington and Vredendal.

Senior cellar assistants, from the Groblershoop-; Keimoes-; Kakamas-; Grootdrink-; and Upington cellars attended the workshop to learn more about the aim and use of cooling and heating during the different winemaking processes.

Ferdi Laubscher, winemaker at Orange River Cellars facilitated the workshop. He compared the climate in the Cape Winelands to the climate in the north-west to create a greater understanding for participants. The workshop was interactive and cellar assistants continuously raised questions.

Six Chenin blanc wines from different areas and price categories were tasted. A background was provided for each of the wines, i.e. origin of the wine; tonnes per hectares harvested and length of time some of the wines were matured in wood.

The price categories were used to illustrate that winemaking procedures have an influence on the production costs, as well as the quality of wines. Entry level wines, wood matured, and wines made from grapes of old vineyards were tasted. This wide spectrum of wines tasted placed South African Chenin Blanc wines in perspective to the participants.

The senior cellar assistants confirmed the value of the workshop and particularly the tasting, as they seldom get the opportunity to taste and compare a wide range of wines. The workshop in Upington confirmed as in the other areas, that there is a serious need for the transfer of advanced knowledge to senior cellar assistants in the South African wine industry.