Team Africa goes up against the world in France

Sunday, 15 October, 2017
Judy Brower - wine.co.za
Team Africa (SA & Zim) competed, alongside 23 other countries, in the 2017 World Blind Wine tasting Championships held on Saturday 14th Oct at Château de Gilly, in Burgundy.

This was the 5th year that South Africa took part in the Worldwide Blind Wine-tasting Championships - a competition founded and run by French Wine Magazine - La Revue du vin de France.

Congratulations to the winners: Sweden, followed by England, then Luxembourg, and in 4th place, Team New Zealand, who is captained by another Zim Sommelier who cut his wine teeth in Cape Town, viz Cashias Gumbo.
South Africa came 14th out of 24 teams entered, with Team Zim making 23rd place. 

Jean Vincent Ridon, sommelier, winemaker, host, educator and movie star, started the South African Wine Tasting Championship in 2013 in order to get a team to compete in the World Champs and has taken Team South Africa to France every year since then. He has been their coach, mentor and invaluable tour guide, taking each team to the top European wineries to prepare their taste buds before the main event.

This year, there were so many top tasters in the South African event, many of whom were Zimbabwean, that JV was motivated to create a Team Zimbabwe, made up of entirely Sommeliers who work in Cape Town. So this year, there were 2 African teams up against the world's best tasters.

All the participants at Château de Gilly, Burgundy.

Team South Africa is comprised of Captain Anita Streicher-Nel, who has made Team SA 3 times now, and Anton Swarts CWM, (who was also in Team SA in 2014), Jeanri-Tine van Zyl and Jolette Steyn.

Team Zimbabwe has Joseph Tongai Dhafana as Captain (he also made Team SA in 2015), Tinashe Nyamoduka,  Marlvin Tinashe Gwese and Pardon Taguzu - all from top establishments in Cape Town, viz., La Colombe, The Test Kitchen, The Cape Grace and Aubergine, respectively.

Joseph, Jeanri, Marlvin, Tinashe, Anton, Jolette, Anita, Pardon, Denis (Zim coach), and SA reserve Nkulu

These Zimbabwean sommeliers have become rock stars in their own right, and have been followed around South Africa and France and Germany over the last 2 weeks by an Australian a film crew, catching every sound byte and visual. The plan is to make a movie about these remarkable young men who have come from a country where wine is certainly not in their culture. They have made successful careers in the wine and hospitality industry, and are such lovely young men - they make such a positive impression on all those they meet. Joseph and Tinashe both have wine labels to their name too - so look out for them.

Friday 13th, rather than being unlucky, saw a pre-competition dinner in Beaune in Burgundy, which was attended by all the 24 national teams. Our teams were delighted to have  Jancis Robinson there to support them, especially Team Zim, who she has taken a special interest in.

Well done to all those who participated, as it is a tough competition, and both teams are already planning for 2018!

Thank you so all those who supported the teams this year, viz Nederburg, Spier, Amorim, Anthonij Rupert, Steenberg and many others.

wine.co.za is proud to be a media partner and supporter of both teams since inception 5 years ago.

 

Judy Brower

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

JV with Team SA
JV with Team SA

Anita, Anton, Cashius, Jolette with Jeanri-Tine in front
Anita, Anton, Cashius, Jolette with Jeanri-Tine in front

Team Zim with coach Denis Garret &  Jancis Robinson
Team Zim with coach Denis Garret & Jancis Robinson

Team Zim in Alsace with Denis Garret
Team Zim in Alsace with Denis Garret

Team Africa in France
Team Africa in France

Team SA at competition
Team SA at competition

Team Zim already planning for 2018 - in Brussels
Team Zim already planning for 2018 - in Brussels

All the Zim lads - Pardon, Cashias, Tinashe, Marlvin & Joseph
All the Zim lads - Pardon, Cashias, Tinashe, Marlvin & Joseph

Team New Zealand headed up by Cashias Gumbo
Team New Zealand headed up by Cashias Gumbo

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