Africa, breaking out on the Sommelier world stage

Friday, 7 June, 2019
Association de la Sommellerie Internationale (ASI)
The sommelier profession is constantly gaining ground everywhere around the world, and Africa is no exception.

Three associations are growing and becoming more active, and encouraging new ones to emerge as well – a fairly rapid development if you consider that the first association, in Mauritius, was founded barely more than a decade ago, and that there are numerous challenges to developing the profession in the region.

Access to training programs and resources – including the diversity of international wines, can certainly be a challenge on the continent. But as Michèle Chantôme, founder and president of the Association des sommeliers du Maroc (ASMA), points out, the challenges go beyond that: “It’s quite a challenge go be officially recognized by the government as we are in a Muslim country where alcohol is forbidden.”

The Moroccan association, founded in 2012, has 30 members and held its second national competition last fall. It has sent one candidate to the European contest in Vienna and to the Best sommelier of the World Competition as well. The Mauritius association, founded in 2008, has 65 members and recently sent candidate Jeff Thomé to the World competition in Antwerp. It’s probably no surprise that the largest of the three current associations is in South Africa, as it is also a major wine producing country.

Read the the full article here