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About 40 emerging assistant winemakers, cellar and vineyard workers were given their first-ever close-up look behind the scenes of a wine competition. The workshop, an initiative of the South African National Wine Show Association (SANWSA) and sponsored by Agri-Expo, was presented as a forerunner to the 2010 SA Young Wine Awards held on Thursday 19 August.
This practical workshop was presented by Charl Theron, coordinator of the SA Cellar Worker Programme. Theron is also involved at the University of Stellenbosch’s Department of Viticulture and Oenology on a part-time basis. “Several cellar worker study groups already receive training in wine preparation and tasting but this is a first in terms of broadening their understanding of the intricacies of a wine competition,” says Theron. According to Theron cellar workers often handle the preparation of wine samples for competitions and it is meaningful to have them understand the mechanisms of a competition such as the Young Wine Show. “In this way we are strengthening their role in the cellar, while enabling them to act proactively when they identify problems,” he says.
“Agri-Expo’s long-standing alliance with the wine industry and our partnership with the SANWSA have always been dynamic and the presentation of this workshop proves that we place a great value on development,” explains Johan Ehlers, Chief Executive Officer of Agri-Expo. This organisation’s relationship with the South African wine industry dates back to 1833 when the former Cape of Good Hope Agricultural Society (now Agri-Expo) took the lead and created a competition platform for the country’s best young wines.
Following the workshop during which cellar workers gained insight into the background of the competition and its judging system, they were able to apply their newly gained knowledge at a tasting of the 2010 SA Young Wine class and medal winners.
For more information about the SA Young Wine Awards and this year’s winners visit www.youngwineshow.co.za.
Issued by Marlene Truter Communications
tel 021 426 5247 / 083 294 6060
On behalf of SA Young Wine Awards
tel 021 807 3104