Six new graduates join the ranks of Cape Wine Masters

Tuesday, 13 May, 2014
Six new graduates who have completed the gruelling 5-year programme were awarded their certificates as Cape Wine Masters (CWM) at a function held at the historic wine estate Groot Constantia, on May 9. This brings the total number of Cape Wine Masters to graduate since 1984 to 88.

There are three from Gauteng, Sandy Harper, Debi van Flymen and Conrad Louw, while Francois Bezuidenhout, Marius Malan and Nina-Mari Bruwer make up the Western Cape trio who, coincidentally, also all qualified at Stellenbosch University with a BScAgric degree in Viticulture and Oenology.

This year’s contingent has produced original dissertations on diverse topics:

  • Sandy Harper: The relevance of informal wine tasting clubs as a potential marketing channel for small and new wine brands in the South African context
  • Debi van Flymen: The production of Bordeaux-style red wines in South Africa
  • Conrad Louw: Sherry – renaissance or departure?
  • Francois Bezuidenhout: Producer wines in South Africa
  • Marius Malan: Is the Swartland the new South African wine hub?
  • Nina-Mari Bruwer: Perceptions in wine – and the role and benefits of sensory analytical tools

There have been big changes for the Cape Wine Academy (CWA) during 2014, with the retirement of wine pioneer Marilyn Cooper after 15 years of service, the last six as CEO, and the strategic appointments of two former CWA graduates, Kristina Beuthner- also a CWM - as Principal, and Michelle Grimbeek as the new Managing Director.

This year special awards went to: Sandy Harper for Viticulture, sponsored by Kosie Steenkamp of Groenland; Francois Bezuidenhout for Viniculture which was sponsored by Hein Koegenlegberg of La Motte; and Marius Malan was presented with a Sabre by Jeff Grier of Villiera for Sparkling Wine, while Marlene Bester presented the Van Ryn Brandy Award to Nina Marie Bruwer.

At the AGM of the Institute of Cape Wine Masters, Hein Koegelenberg, CEO of La Motte, was given the prestigious Personality of the Year Award. He was instrumental in helping the Cape Wine Academy continue its education programmes after private investors withdrew their support. Hein had a hand in the wine educational programme for previously disadvantaged and jobless people from the townships. Through a joint venture with a Chinese importer he has also launched a wine education programme for salesmen in China.

A new chairman of the Institute of Cape Wine Masters was also elected. Winnie Bowman takes over from Andy Roediger who has stepped down.

This year the CWM graduates reflect a gender split of 50:50 – which is more or less in line with the current membership profile of 52% (47) male and 48% (44) female. Western Cape members comprise 55% of the total contingent, and Gauteng members 30%, while other provinces – KwaZulu-Natal and Free State comprise 3% - and overseas members 12% - of the total.

There are now 91 (3 honorary) Cape Wine Masters, including 11 overseas members in the UK, Australia, Germany and the USA. Two of the three original wine masters, Duimpie Bayly and Bennie Howard and the late Tony Mossop, were the first to attain this prestigious qualification when it was first instituted 30 years ago. The honorary CWMs are Dave Hughes, Phyllis Hands and Colin Frith who were the examiners for many years.

In 2003 the Cape Wine and Spirit Education Trust granted the Cape Wine Academy the right to award the Cape Wine Master (CWM) qualification and confer the Cape Wine Master’s title, in collaboration with the Institute of Cape Wine Masters.

These six dissertations have added valuable perspectives to wine research in South Africa and are available to industry for perusal at the Cape Wine Academy and the SAWIS library, as well as on the CWA website:

Photo captions:

The six new Cape Wine Masters: Debi van Flymen, Francois Bezuidenhout, Conrad Louw, Sandy Harper, Nina-Mari Bruwer and Marius Malan

Group shot of all Cape Wine Masters: Front (left to right) Kristina Beuthner, Dick Davidson, Margaret Fry, Jeff Grier, Margie Barker, Andy Roediger, Duimpie Bayly, Dave Hughes, Marilyn Cooper, Bennie Howard, Elsie Pels, Debi van Flymen Alan Mullins. Back (left to right) Marius Malan, Daniel le Roux, Catherin Dillon, Raymond Noppé, Sandy Harper, Tom Blok, Greg de Bruyn, Winnie Bowman, Francois Bezuidenhout, Nina-Mari Bruwer, Junel Vermeulen, Conrad Louw, Dave March, Clive Torr, Irina von Holdt, Ginette de Fleuriot, Heidi Duminy, Derek Ramsden and Mary Lou Nash