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27 Pass the Inaugural South African Sommelier Association Introductory Sommelier Certification

On the 31st of March, the South African Sommelier Association (SASA) hosted its first round of the new Introductory Sommelier Certification in Cape Town and Paarl. We now have 27 candidates holding the title of Introductory Sommelier.

“This is a massive milestone for SASA. Some of the best brains in the trade spent a lot of time developing this qualification with the ambition of providing a solution unique to the hospitality industry in South Africa. This was a crucial first step, and we now have the tools and hope to certify hundreds more.” SASA Chairperson, Spencer Fondaumiere

The Introductory Sommelier Certificate is the qualification geared for any service professional or aspiring service professional with the basic skills of professional beverage service. It requires a general knowledge of wine, South African wine regions and wine and beverage service.

How it Works

The examination consists of two sections:

  1. A closed book theory test with multiple-choice questions covering basic wine knowledge, fundamental wine service, general service etiquette, surface knowledge of other beverages, essential food and wine pairing and alcohol awareness

  2. An oral examination focusing on wine knowledge, beverage service, and professional service skills.

The SASA introductory Sommelier Examination is open to all SASA members to sit without prerequisites (i.e. having completed any other relevant wine qualification). Under the condition that the member has accumulated, in their own opinion, enough experience elsewhere to attempt the examination.


Exam: R500

Annual Membership: R250 (must be a member to sit the exam)

Click HERE to become a member.

SASA provides the exam/certification, and our Approved Program Providers (APPs) provide the course should you wish to take it. It is possible to sit the exam without taking the course.


SASA works closely with our APP’s to facilitate the teaching of courses preparing candidates for certifications. We are proud to work with our two current APP’s on the introductory sommelier qualification.

Sommeliers Academy (

Apeirogon Youth Development Academy (

Both APP’s have worked very closely with SASA in tailoring their courses to be in line with the objectives of the introductory Sommelier qualification.

The next Introductory Sommelier Certification will take place on the 30th of April at Culture Wine Bars’The Wine Library” in Cape Town, other venues TBC.

If you wish to get your staff certified at your venue or for general enquiries, please get in touch with for more information.

To learn more about our different certifications, click here.

To become a member, click here.

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