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2022 Year-End Review



A note from our chairperson, Spencer Fondaumiere:


“This has undoubtedly been our best year ever. We have moved the needle on every metric we set ourselves and achieved incredible success. I want


to thank everyone who has dedicated their time and energy to SASA this year. Getting to where we are has taken tremendous sacrifice and teamwork.”


“It has been incredible cataloging the year that has been in this report; even those intimately involved with the details were pleasantly surprised by all that we have managed to get done. This is only the foundation, and we look forward to doing even more in 2023.”


FEBRUARY - SASA LAUNCHED THE INTRODUCTORY SOMMELIER EXAM

For the very first time, SASA has introduced the Introductory Sommeliers Exam, which is intended as the first stepping stone for students looking for an introduction to the sommelier world. Together with Sommeliers Academy, over 300 students went through the Introductory Sommelier exam this year with a plus 70% pass rate.


SASA APPOINTS ERICA TAYLOR AS HEAD OF OPERATIONS

Long-time SASA member and previously Cape Town coordinator Taylor was appointed to the newly formed position of Operations Manager. The role puts her in the engine room of the operation, where she is actively involved in fundraising, coordination, planning, and execution of all SASA projects.


MARCH - FINE WINE AUCTION AND GALA DINNER

SASA raised R100K in the first fundraiser and wine auction, which was held in “The Wine Library” at Culture Wine Bar in Cape Town. It was a huge success thanks to the generous donation from PIWOSA and the wine they sponsored for the auction. We would also like to thank the following people again for their donations and for making the event a success:

  • Cap Classique Association

  • Cape Wine Academy

  • Culture Wine Bar & Matt Manning

  • Pinotage Association

  • Premium Independent Wineries of South Africa (PIWOSA)

  • Shane Mumba

  • Stellenbosch Wine Route

  • Zwiesel Glassware by Ambience Hospitality


APRIL - NEW BOARD MEMBER

Our AGM in April welcomed a new board member, Le Roi van der Vyver. After five years of service, Esmé Groenewald has stepped down as General Secretary. Le Roi joins incumbents Wayve Kolevsohn, Laurie Cooper, and Shane Mumba, led by chair Spencer Fondaumiere.


JUNE - CONTINUED PARTNERSHIP WITH STELLENBOSCH WINE ROUTES

Stellenbosch Wine Routes have graciously donated R200 000 towards SASA to achieve SASA’s primary goal, which is to empower the professionals that dedicate themselves to the service of food and beverage through certifications and competitions.


JULY - PIWOSA PARTNERS UP WITH SASA FOR CAPE WINE

SASA coordinated tastings at Cape Wine as our sommeliers presented tastings and were also involved with the theme tastings, which were: site-specific, weird and wonderful, shining stars, fairy tales, evolution, and size matters.


SASA Also staffed all of the tutored tastings and free pour area for Wines of South Africa (WOSA) during Cape Wine 2022.


AUGUST - SASA PARTNERS CHENIN NOIR TO BRING COURT OF MASTERS SOMMELIERS TO STELLENBOSCH

This exclusive partnership was aimed to provide these courses to all Sommeliers looking for a chance to further their education and skill set. In 2019 The Court of Master Sommeliers welcomed 5 Certified Sommeliers and 18 Introductory Sommeliers to its Prestigious Ranks from the first course held in South Africa.


SEPTEMBER - STELLENBOSCH WINE ROUTES LAUNCHED SOMMELIERS BOOTCAMP

The Bootcamp was aimed at sommeliers, hospitality professionals, and wine media across the country. The Bootcamp was a five-day intensive course featuring both online and practical immersion in Stellenbosch. It covered aspects such as viticulture, tutored technical tastings, and site visits with producers and experts.


OCTOBER - CHAMPAGNE TELMONT BEST YOUNG SOMMELIER IN SOUTH AFRICA AND STAR WINE LIST

We hosted the Best Young Sommelier in South Africa in partnership with the Champagne Telmont and Stellenbosch Wine Routes. We proudly announce Thembani Wesley Mpande as the new Best Young Sommelier in South Africa, taking top honors in competing against semi-finalists Stefan Reinmuth and George Young at Blaauwklippen Vineyards. Together with the competition, Star Wine List announced the winners of the best wine lists in South Africa.


NOVEMBER - ASI CERTIFICATION 1 COMES TO CAPE TOWN AND JOHANNESBURG

The ASI Certification 1 is the first level for a sommelier to expand their knowledge. The ASI Certification 1 and 2 Exam will be held again in 2023. We are very proud to announce that the following candidates have passed this exam:

  • Erica Taylor

  • Thembani Wesley Mpande

  • Jaco Meyer

  • Luke Erickson


DECEMBER - UBUNTU SOMMELIER TROPHY

The third edition of the Ubuntu Sommeliers Trophy took place on the 5th of December. Team South Africa, made up of Stefan Reinmuth, George Young, and Janine van Zyl came out on top and won the trophy for the second time in a row.


EXAMS

On the 17th of May, at The Wine Library in Cape Town and the Swiss Hotel School in Johannesburg SASA hosted the first Junior Sommelier exam of 2022. The second exam took place in October in JHB and CPT.


We are proud to announce the new 2022 SASA Junior Sommeliers:


  • Caroline Ngwenya - Wine Steward at Culture Wine Bar

  • Glyne Chidemo - Wine Steward at Groot Constantia

  • Jephias “Jeff” Chadzunda - Tasting Room Manager at Groot Phesantekraal in Durbanville.

  • Richmond Mataga - Tasting Room at Klein Constantia

  • Rodgers Mwanza - Service Ambassador at Riboville Boutique in Johannesburg.

  • Tendai Chigwida - Sommelier at The Waterside Restaurant

  • Victor Okolo - Wine Consultant for a West African Wine Collection Company.

  • Yonela Zondwayo - Sommelier for Azamara Cruise

  • Sanelisiwe Damawe - tasting room ambassador at Oldenburg Vineyards

  • Petronella Bekwa - tasting room ambassador at Oldenburg Vineyards

  • Armandt Rossouw -general manager and sommelier at Judd’s Local

  • Thembani Mpande - Sommelier at Marble Restaurant

  • Léze Herholdt - Brand Development and Innovation Assistant at Creation Wines

  • Gregory Lorimer - Front of House Manager of The Wine Glass, Stellenbosch

  • Ronald Muchechemera

  • Thabo Ntuthu - Cellar Assistant at Tokara Wine Estate

  • Theophelas Mweneziko - working as a Sales Host.

  • Stephanie van Rooyen - Hospitality and VIP Manager at Creation Wines

  • Zharque Harmse - Sommelier at Oldenburg Vineyards


We are also very proud to announce that two students have passed the SASA Sommeliers Exam, which is the highest exam that SASA has to offer:


  • Stefan Reinmuth - Head Sommelier at Oldenburg Vineyards

  • George Young - Sommelier at Oldenburg Vineyards


“We are so proud as an organization to see such a large, diverse group sitting certification exams, stepping up for sommelier competitions, and raising the level of service in South Africa’s second largest employment industry, Hospitality.”


“ We are already seeing an increase in eagerness to get certified and try out for competitions. We are looking forward to 2023 and all it has in store for our members and us.” Head of Operations, Erica Taylor


For more information about past events or to hear what we have in store for 2023, please contact Dani Brown info@sommeliers.org.za


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