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Semi-Finalists for the Best Sommelier of South African in partnership with Stellenbosch Wine Route

The Quarter-Finals came down to fractions of a point, with the following candidates scoring over 90%, so we have decided to move forward with seven semi-finalists this year.

Laurie Cooper

  • SASA Treasurer

  • SASA Sommelier

  • WSET Level 4 Diploma

  • Stage 2 Master of Wine (MW) student

  • Distinction graduate Michael Fridjhon Wine Judging Academy

  • Moët & Chandon Best Young Sommelier in SA 2019

  • Winemaker and Sommelier at Abingdon Wine Estate

Wikus Human

  • Court of Masters Certified Sommelier

  • Head Sommelier Marble and Saint Restaurant

  • Moët & Chandon Best Young Sommelier 2017

Tayla Skye Kirschner

  • SASA Junior Sommelier

  • WSET Level 3

  • Cape Wine Academy, certificate level

  • First runner up for the Moët & Chandon Best Young Sommelier in SA 2019

  • Represented SA in the Ubuntu Sommeliers trophy 2020

  • Works at "A Bunch Of Buddies"

Lovejoy Neshamba

  • SASA Junior Sommelier

  • Cape Wine Academy, certificate level

  • Distell Inter Hotel Challenge - Wine Steward of the year 2019

  • Barman at Ellerman House

Stefan Reinmuth

  • SASA Junior Sommelier

  • WSET 3 Certified (WSET Diploma, in process)

  • Brand Ambassador at Oldenburg Vineyards

  • Host of 'Blackout: Stage Wine' on Instagram

Jean Vincent Ridon

  • ASI Sommelier Diploma

  • SASA Sommelier

  • Two-time finalist Best Sommelier in South Africa

  • Quarter-finalist Best Sommelier of Europe and Africa.

  • Author of “Passion for Pairing”

  • Working at Sommeliers Academy

Roxan Waldeck

  • SASA Sommelier

  • WSET Level 3

  • Best Sommelier Semi-Finalist 2016

  • Michael Fridjhon Wine Judging Academy

  • Independent - Wine and hospitality facilitator

These sommeliers will join us at Blaauwklippen Vineyards on Wednesday the 15th of September for closed-door semi-finals, where they will be tested on theory, blind tasting, and food and wine pairing.

At 13h30, we will kick off the live-stream, main stage event hosted by the charismatic Guy McDonald, where three finalists will be announced and compete in front of our esteemed panel of international and local judges.


Thanks to WineLand Media, this competition will be live-streamed worldwide across multiple platforms.

Tune into our Facebook Page or WineLand’s YouTube for the live-action competition to see who will be named the Best Sommelier in South Africa.

Thank you for the continued support of our Sponsors

~ Zwiesel (Ambience Hospitality Brands)

Media Contact

Erica Taylor, CSW Uncorkified +27 (0) 72 352 0203

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