#WINEFORGOOD: Pinotage Youth Development Academy - Launching Talent

Wednesday, 29 April, 2020
Pinotage Youth Development Academy
PYDA was founded in 2012 as the Pinotage Youth Development Academy with the goal of developing talented youth with historically disadvantaged backgrounds for employment in the wine sector and related industries.

Two years of upfront research and stakeholder analysis determined employer needs and identified training gaps for young South Africans. Our curriculum is custom-designed to meet industry-specific needs and is constantly reviewed to ensure this. The practice of personal development is our differentiator and it brings sustainable change to our students. 

Our continued industry research presented us with the need to expand our wine programme to also include tourism. Thus, the first Wine and Tourism programme was launched in November of 2016. This class focuses on everything in the wine industry: from harvesting the grapes to working in a tasting room and beyond.

The Wine and Tourism Programme

40% Personal Development: Personal life skills development is a crucial part of PYDA's programmes. Our programmes include both coaching and mentoring. This remains the cornerstone of our programme and we are constantly innovating in this area to ensure our students grow in confidence along with ability.

40% Technical skills: The technical skills that are taught focuses on the “experience beyond the wine bottle” and includes the hospitality side, wine presenting and culinary arts as well as a tour guiding course. These skills directly relate to workplace readiness. We strive to work with accredited facilitators who teach these modules, and our students are required to pass with a 75% pass-mark.

20% Work practicals: During their time at PYDA, all of our students participate in work practicals - starting with a week long work placement and later a month long work placement. These are an opportunity for them to embed their skills in the real world while connecting with potential employers.

Graduate success stories


wine.co.za and the PYDA

We at wine.co.za were so inspired by the efficacy and passion of everyone at the PYDA, that we employed one of their graduates in November 2017, Yoliswa Masekwana, who joined our Content Team. She is very proactive and works very hard at keeping our Clients' info up to date.  She has developed very good relationships with her clients and we are very proud to have her at wine.co.za.

Then during 2018, we decided that if we are to make a real difference in South Africa, we need to continue to give opportunities to these dedicated youngsters. We then founded our annual wine.co.za Learnership/Internship program, where we take on a graduate every year for a 12-month employment contract.  Our first intern, Jamie-Lee Appolis, has finished her 12 months with us and our next intern, Leroy Matthee started with us after he graduated.  He has already spent 4 weeks with us for his work placement, where we had time to get to know him and look forward to having him with us for the next year.  We will miss Jamie but we are sure she will fly and make a positive impact wherever she goes.

For more information on the PYDA, click here


There are plenty of good news stories about upliftment and transformation in the South African Wine Industry. The #wineforgood website, launched by wine.co.za in June 2016, hosts all the positive stories from the winelands, of which there are plenty. wine.co.za has made April a focus for #wineforgood stories. Share them far and wide and spread the good news about South African wine.