Distell Inter Hotel Challenge Grape to Glass at Pongracz

The Distell Inter Hotel Challenge offers plenty of learning opportunities for competing Wine Steward and Chef candidates from the various hotels.
One of the valuable educational experiences available is the Grape to Glass experience, where the candidates visit their matched wineries to hear it from the winemakers themselves. 
On Friday 17th May, I took Jamie-Lee Appolis (our PYDA Learnership candidate) and joined the candidates from The Saxon (Johannesburg) - Brian Nyamara,  Bongani Mabala from Marriot Crystal Towers, and Solomon Banda from Radisson Blu, (Cape Town), who were learning from the wonderful Elunda Basson, Cellarmaster at the home of Cap Classique at Pongracz.
Elunda is in fact leaving Distell after many years at the helm of bubbly making and joining Steenberg, and so we were very fortunate to catch her very last tasting she was giving for Distell.

Pongracz is one of South Africa's top Cap Classique producers with their Pongrácz Blanc de Blanc MCC, non-vintage winning the Vertex award at the 2018 Veritas awards - the best wine on the show!
The Pongracz family also offer the beautiful Desiderius MCC, a delicious Rosé and more recently introduced a sweeter bubbly called the Noble Nectar which is perfect for the hotels to match with their dishes for the competition - and they have to use pork - so Asian spicy pork matched with this slightly sweeter MCC in the very trendy popular purple bottle seems like a match made in heaven!  

All the candidates participate in cook-offs and tests in June and the glittering awards ceremony is held in August annually - so look out for the 'Oscars' of the hospitality industry.