Transformation in action as 2 new interns join CWG Protégé Programme

The Cape Winemakers Guild has stepped up its role in effecting transformation in the wine industry by increasing the number of Protégés participating it its mentorship programme to eight with the induction of two new recruits in 2014.

By cultivating, nurturing and empowering promising individuals to become winemakers of excellence, the Cape Winemakers Guild Protégé Programme plays an active role in the transformation of the industry to ensure its long term health and sustainability. Since its launch in 2006, the Protégé Programme gives aspirant winemakers the rare opportunity of working side by side with members of the Guild, all masters of their craft, during a three-year internship.   

“The success story of our Protégé Programme in promoting excellence in winemaking and playing a leading role in transforming the industry are major priorities for the Cape Winemakers Guild. We are indebted to our sponsors and suppliers whose generous support has enabled us to step up the intake of our Protégés year on year,” says new Guild Chairman Andries Burger.

The Guild’s two new Protégés, who started the programme in December 2013, are excited about their new journey in winemaking. The candidates are Rose Kruger of Drakenstein who has a Bachelors degree in Agriculture from Elsenburg Agricultural College, and Rudger Van Wyk of George who is a B.Sc Agriculture, Oenology and Viticulture graduate from the University of Stellenbosch.  

Rose who is being mentored by Jeff Grier at Villiera this year, is eager to make an impact on the industry: “My dream is to be considered someday as one of the best female winemakers in the country.”

Rudger who has joined Abrie Beeslaar at Kanonkop, is equally motivated to make a success in the industry: “I fell in love with the oenology course and the idea of one day making my own wine from scratch.” 

The six existing Protégés have all moved on to new cellars and Guild members as part of their three year internships to further their knowledge and expertise.

Second year Protégés, Wade Sander,  Thornton Pillay and Ricardo Cloete have moved on to Bouchard Finlayson (under Peter Finlayson), Groot Constantia Estate (under Boela Gerber) and De Grendel Wines (under Charles Hopkins) respectively.

The third year Protégés have been writing their own success stories. Chandré Petersen who gained invaluable harvest experience in the USA last year, has joined Tokara Winery with Miles Mossop as her mentor. Heinrich Kulsen who was part of the Burgundy Exchange Programme in France last year, will spend the year at Hermanuspietersfontein Wingerde with Bartho Eksteen. Philani Shongwe, who has also been fortunate to gain international winemaking experience, is working with Pieter Ferreira at Graham Beck Wines.

All the Protégés have the opportunity to make their own wine during their internships as a result of generous sponsorships from various suppliers. Every year Cape Cooperage provides the oak barrels, Consol Glass donates the bottles and Amorim Cork supplies the corks for the Protégé wines.  

The Cape Winemakers Guild Protégé Programme is sponsored by the Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Development Trust.