Monday, 17th January 2022- The South African Sommeliers Association (SASA) board has promoted Erica Taylor of Uncorkified to Head of Operations. This appointment aligns with SASA’s vision to expand its operations and serve its members effectively.
Spencer Fondaumiere, chairperson of SASA, “I am very pleased to have Erica join the team. Having worked with her in organising several SASA events, most notably the recent Best Sommelier in South Africa competition 2021, she will bring lots of energy and professionalism to the organisation. Despite the prevailing difficult circumstances our industry faces currently, I am certain that we will continue to move forward.”
The current board:
Spencer Fondaumiere (Chairperson)
Esmé Groenewald (Vice-Chair)
Laurie Cooper (Treasurer)
Wayve Kolevsohn (Education)
Shane Mumba (Education)
Erica is being brought in at a high-level capacity to implement best practices, coordinate upcoming competitions and events, and launch a new jobs portal while updating membership benefits.
Erica holds certifications for WSET Level 3, Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW), Wine Judging Academy, and SASA Junior Sommelier. She is currently working on French Wine Scholar through the Wine Scholar Guild. Erica writes about the Cape Town wine scene for Star Wine List. She is an Associate Wine Judge, represents wine producers, and handles PR & Digital marketing for brands internationally.
Erica also spearheaded the #SaveSAWine social media campaign during South Africa’s multiple alcohol bans that dramatically affected the wine industry. The #SaveSAWine Facebook Group is now 60 thousand people strong South of African wine lovers worldwide.
"I joined SASA in 2017, and in 2018 began as the Coordinator for Cape Town. Advancing into this role will allow me to contribute fully to helping the association fulfill its mandate of promoting wine service in the country. We will certify more Sommeliers and create more opportunities for new people into the wine industry. We will organize events and competitions as the world is opening back up. We as an organization want to set the standard for service in South Africa and achieve the highest standards in hospitality and wine service." Erica Taylor
In the pipeline of the next few months, SASA will be involved in the following;
Exam | 28th February 2022 | ASI Diploma
*NEW* | 29th March 2022 | Introductory Sommelier Course
Exam | 17th-18th May 2022 | Junior and Sommelier Exams
Competition | 14th September | Best Young Sommelier 2022
Exam | 17th-18th October 2022 | Junior and Sommelier Exams
We will soon be announcing some new member benefits, most notably a jobs-portal. As the season is ramping up, we have been inundated with the need for qualified wine service staff requests. Our qualified members will now be eligible for bi-weekly emails indicating possible job opportunities.
To see what we accomplished in 2021, check out our year-end review.