Introducing Team SA 2017 : Jeanri-Tine van Zyl

Thursday, 5 October, 2017
Judy Brower -
Team South Africa will be taking to the skies on Sunday 8th Oct, to participate in the World Blind Wine Tasting Championships to be held in Burgundy, France on Saturday 14th Oct.

Team SA is comprised of 2 winemakers; Anton Swarts CWM (Spier), Jolette Steyn (Steenberg), 1 marketer; Captain Anita Streicher-Nel (Anthonij Rupert Wyne) and 1 PR Consultant, viz Jeanri-Tine van Zyl, with the reserve Nkululeko Mkhwanazi waiting with baited breath in the wings.

Jeanri-Tine is the Director of Feed That Bird Communications Consultants, a PR, Communications and Content Marketing agency providing creative communication support to many of SA’s major wine brands and companies.

A qualified journalist - B.Phil Journalism from the University of Stellenbosch, supported by a M.Soc.Sc in International Relations from UCT - and communications professional with print, broadcast and online experience, Jeanri-Tine entered the wine industry as a “young and naïve wine writer” starting out at Wine Magazine in 2008. Here she gained immeasurable knowledge under the mentorship of wine critic Christian Eedes, the magazine’s editor at the time, and also later qualified to serve as wine judge on the magazine’s monthly wine tasting panels.

Following the closing of Wine Magazine, Jeanri-Tine entered the public relations sphere, supporting the marketing strategy of multinational corporates in technology and finance, while continuing to write on wine for various lifestyle titles.

In 2014, having spent two years in Johannesburg’s corporate world, she returned to her beloved winelands and founded her PR company – which she sees as an opportunity to serve her true passions: wine and words.

Career highlights include a first in class honours from the Michael Fridjhon Wine Tasting Academy, serving as an Associate Judge on the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show, judging alongside Joe Wadsack at Veritas 2016, and qualifying for Team South Africa 2017 who will be competing in the International Wine Tasting Championships in France.

British Airways, multiple winner of Best Overall Wine Cellar in the 'Best Cellar in the Skies' awards, will be flying Jeanri-Tine, offering her a taste of the the variety of world wide wines she and the team will be exposed to in France.

In her spare time, Jeanri-Tine is a well-known presence, freelance writer and judge in the wine and food industry, often spotted with a glass of Cap Classique in her hand –  which she describes as the best value for money in the whole wine world.

We wish Team South Africa and their fellow African Team Zimbabwe all the best next week at the World Blind Wine Tasting Championships, organised by French Monthly Wine magazine Le Revue du Vin de France, described by wine fundi Jancis Robinson as "France's only serious wine magazine.

Both teams will be chaperoned on a whistle-stop tour of France by inimitable French coach Jean Vincent Ridon, who has single-handedly founded and driven this competition since its inception in 2014.  It is great to see Nederburg assisting the team this year with sponsorship, as well as Amorim, Spier and of course, who have supported the team since the very first year.

The current World Champions are China, so they are keen to take them on head-on this year. Both teams have had plenty of training with the energetic and dedicated JV Ridon and I am sure they will shine on the day.


Judy Brower

Judy has been running alongside her hubby Kevin Kidson since 1996. She takes photos, attends functions, writes occasionally, sells services, is Mrs HR at the company, cooks yummy lunches from time to time and generally is the glue at

Jeanri-Tine van Zyl
Jeanri-Tine van Zyl

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