See Yourself As The Next Top Sommelier In Africa?

Wednesday, 3 October, 2018
South African Sommeliers Association
Not since 1994 has there been a more exciting time to be in the South African wine industry.

With arguably two of the best vintages in recorded history harvested in less than a decade, many of those wines still in barrel, a thriving community of visionary winemakers constantly pushing the boundaries of excellence and an equally flourishing community of young sommeliers defining the modern face of African wine service. With every South African wine that makes the headlines, with every new sommelier putting their stamp on a wine program, we set the bar a little higher and it becomes harder and harder to compete in this industry without the services of a qualified professional. Now is the time to make a career for yourself!

Here's How...

More than three years ago the South African Sommelier Association (SASA) set out with the goal of creating the first internationally recognised Sommelier Accreditation Program in Africa. With the help of renowned, industry tested and internationally trained sommeliers we started the long journey of writing our own syllabus and becoming a full member of The Association de la Sommellerie Internationale.

Starting from the ground up we looked at industry stalwarts like The Court of Master Sommeliers,

The Association de la Sommellerie Internationale and The Wine and Spirits Education trust.

We combined our own experience, gained from years of actively working on the floor, we argued furiously, always conscious of respecting tradition and were finally left with a concise syllabus that respects the past while looking to the future and preparing local sommeliers to take on the best in the world in the only internationally recognized sommelier certification in South Africa.

Once we felt we had set the standard we accredited two world class program providers (APP’s), Somm 101 and The Sommeliers Academy, armed them with the tools they needed and passed on the responsibility to train the next generation, leaving SASA free to monitor, moderate, constantly improve the syllabus and finally assess the candidates trained by these institutions. Separating ourselves from commercial activities and allowing us to always remain dedicated to the discipline, art and love of Wine and Spirits.

Somm 101 by Somm Hospitality Enterprises

Headed by Barry Scholfield, SASA L2, and Joakim Blackadder Dip. WSET & Dip. ASI with Isabella Immenkamp, Esmé Groenewald and wine education partner Cathy Marston Dip. WSET from the International Wine Education Centre.

Born out of a passion for hospitality, food, wine and all things artisanally crafted, four friends created Somm Hospitality Enterprises. A young, dynamic company with a proven track record and a portfolio of business interests ranging from Sommelier Focused Hospitality Training to Specialised Hospitality Consultation and an increasing range of Tastings, Competitions, Events and Retail interests.

From Wine Service 101 to ASI diploma, Somm 101 provides success through education.

The Sommeliers Academy

The Sommeliers Academy was created in 2016 to specifically address the needs of skills development and training in the hospitality industry. Managed by internationally recognised sommelier Jean Vincent Ridon, a team of 16 facilitators are training in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg, including for the National Department of Tourism.

Sommeliers Academy prepares for the SASA Junior Sommelier and SASA Sommelier, and is offering a curriculum toward ASI International Sommelier Diploma. Furthermore, Sommeliers Academy teams with IWEC to offer WSET trainings, and has developed its proprietary wine education system with Wines of South Africa certificate, and Wine Advanced Certificate. Since being a sommelier is much more than just knowing wine, Sommeliers Academy trains toward Wine Ambassador, Coffee Ambassador, Beer Ambassador. Masterclasses toward Court of Master Sommeliers exams are offered, and a new partnership offer an official French sommelier certification in English with the University of Beaune in Burgundy (CFPPA Beaune).