Introducing Team SA 2017 : Anton Swarts

Saturday, 7 October, 2017
Judy Brower -
Team South Africa took 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. Find our more about the first Cape Wine Master to make the team.

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, Jeanri-Tine van Zyl (Feedthatbird), with the reserve Nkululeko Mkhwanazi waiting with baited breath in the wings.

Anton is one of the senior winemakers of Spier Wines, where he has been working since 1999.

Anton attained his National Diploma: Agriculture at the Cape Technikon, in conjunction with Elsenburg Agricultural College in 1998. He completed the SA Brandy Association’s Van Ryn’s Advanced Brandy Course in 2014, and Spier’s Management Development Program in 2015. He attained his Cape Wine Master’s qualification in May 2017 and became the 100th Cape Wine Master in the South African Wine Industry. Anton’s dissertation was on tartrate stabilisation of wine in the SA industry and he is currently building a library of case studies, as to further his research to his dissertation regarding tartrate stability issues in the SA Wine Industry.

Anton was also a designated top taster in the National Finals of the SA Wine Tasting Championships for three consecutive years from 2013 to 2015, and was also the reserve taster for Team SA 2013 that went to France, Bordeaux, for the 2013 World Blind Tasting Championship.

He is yet again designated as a top taster of the 2017 National Finals of the SA Wine Tasting Championship and part of Team SA that will go to France, Burgundy, for the 2017 World Blind Tasting Championship coming up on 14th October. Anton was the first winemaker and now the first Cape Wine Master ever to make it to Team SA. He has also served as a Judge on various panels for Veritas since 2014.

Anton is passionate about Pinot Noir and over the past 19 years has come to the conclusion; “that the more you know about wine you realise how little you actually know about wine”.

In his free time Anton loves entertaining family and friends. Food and wine is just one of his passions, and opening a special bottle at least once a week is a treat. He also believes that although the wine world can be quite daunting, he loves to engage with people and show them that everybody can speak "wine".

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

Anton Swarts
Anton Swarts

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