Cape Winemakers Guild Protégés make their own wines

All aspirant winemakers participating in the Cape Winemakers Guild Protégé Programme  have been given the rare opportunity of making their own wines in their own dedicated Quintessence French oak barrels donated by the Cape Cooperage Group.  This Paarl based company has extended its support of the Guild’s Protégé Programme by donating a barrel to every Protégé in his or her second year until 2014, ensuring that current and future Protégés will have the opportunity to experiment with their own wines.

Elmarie Botes, who completed her first year of internship at Steenberg during 2011 has moved on to Kanonkop where she will be learning her craft from winemaker Abrie Beeslaar and make her very first wine.

Tamsyn Jeftha and Sacha Claassen, who are both entering their third year of internship, were the first to make their own wines which are still in barrels donated by Cape Cooperage in 2011.  Tamsyn who spent last year working closely with Jeff Grier at Villiera will continue her internship with Carl Schultz at Hartenberg, while Sacha Claassen who worked in the Nitida cellar with Bernhard Veller, is now working under the mentorship of Charles Hopkins at De Grendel Wines.

“We are proud to be a partner in the Guild’s Protégé Programme by helping these young winemakers fulfill their potential. We’d like to believe that this initiative will help to transform the wine industry one barrel at a time,” said André Kotze, Managing Director of Cape Cooperage Group.

The production of their own wine forms part of the Protégés’ three-year internship. Protégés are required to prepare budgets, production plans and marketing proposals for the wines they produce, in order to experience the entire process from the making to selling of a wine. Once they have been bottled, the wines will be offered during some of the Guild’s charity auctions and the funds raised will be ploughed back into the Protégé Programme.

The CWG protégés have the rare opportunity of learning the art of winemaking from true masters of their craft who are all members of the Cape Winemakers Guild. Guild members are responsible for mentoring their protégés for a minimum of six months and providing them with essential hands-on skills and experience.

The Cape Winemakers Guild Protégé Programme was launched in 2006 under the auspices of the Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Trust with the goal of bringing about transformation in the wine industry by cultivating, nurturing and empowering promising individuals to become winemakers of excellence.