2017 FOUR NEW GRADUATES BRINGS TOTAL CAPE WINE MASTERS TO 100!
Four new graduates were awarded their certificates as Cape Wine Masters (CWM) by the Cape Wine Academy and Institute of Cape Wine Masters at a function held at Van Ryn’s Distillery in Stellenbosch, on Friday, May 5.
This brings the current number of Cape Wine Masters (CWMs) to attain this prestigious qualification since it was first instituted 33 years ago to 100! It includes 12 from overseas and two of the three original Cape Wine Masters - Duimpie Bayly and Bennie Howard, who together with the late Tony Mossop, were the first to qualify in 1984.
The four new CWMs are winemakers Brendan Butler and Anton Swarts, international marketing manager François Cillié, and sales and marketing manager, Ivan Oertle.
Their dissertations were respectively titled: White Bordeaux-style blends in South Africa; A look at tartrate stabilisation of wine in the South African wine industry; Alternative anti-oxidants and preservatives in wine: the viability of rooibos and honeybush wood; and Evaluating the development of emerging South African Black-owned wine companies.
Brendan Butler also won two trophies – the Brandy Trophy sponsored by Van Ryn, and one awarded by Kleine Zalze for the Best Dissertation; while Ivan Oertle received the Viticulture Trophy from La Motte.
Brendan Butler, 30, currently winemaker and brand ambassador of Mount Vernon, was one of the youngest to complete the CWA’s Introduction and Diploma course. He graduated cum laude in 2008 with a B Agriculture degree majoring in Oenology (Cellar Technology) and Viticulture at Elsenburg. He attained his CWA Diploma in 2011, and has been working towards his Cape Wine Masters ever since.
Among Brendan’s more unusual accomplishments, he did an advanced snake handling course in 2014, but a more prestigious one was his Golden Key International Honour Society membership from 2006 to 2008. Membership is by invitation only, and is only extended to the top 15% students, as identified by their universities across all degree programmes.
François Cillié, 38, is the International Marketing Manager for Stark-Condé & Man Family Wines. He has had six years of sales and marketing experience on all the major international wine markets (Europe, USA, Canada, Australasia, Asia, Middle East and Africa), another five years on the South African market and was also heavily involved in the local retail sector for two years. Being not content with that alone, he and his friends produce their own wine label “Inixion” (meaning ‘a new beginning’ in Italian).
Ivan Oertle, 47, has recently joined Grande Provence as their national sales and marketing manager. He was previously a specialist wine consultant for VinPro and the Wine and Brandy Transformation Unit after a retail career spanning 31 years, latterly as a specialist wine buyer for Woolworths. He attained his Wine Diploma at the CWA in 2010.
Anton Swarts, 42, is currently Senior Winemaker of Spier Wines (Pty) Ltd, where he has been working since 1999. By 2004 he had progressed to Junior Red Winemaker for the Winecorp Private Label and was senior White Winemaker until 2016. He completed the CWA Diploma in 2011, the SA Brand Association’s Van Ryn’s Advanced Brandy Course in 2014, and he was on the Spier Management Development Programme in 2015. Anton attained his National Diploma: Agriculture (Viticulture, Pomology, Vegetable Production) at the Cape Technikon in conjunction with Elsenburg Agricultural College in 1998.
Brendan Butler’s research paper focuses on White Bordeaux-style blends in South Africa and the potential for growth in the number of consumers and producers.
François Cillié’s dissertation looked at the viability of using the wood from indigenous rooibos and honeybush for their proven anti-oxidative and preservative qualities in wine as an alternative to sulphur and came up with recommendations on how to market this alternative wine style to increasingly health-conscious consumers and wine producers.
Ivan Oertle’s paper evaluated the development of emerging Black-owned South African wine companies and made recommendations involving collaboration, skills and knowledge transfer as fundamental to the sustainability and success of an emerging enterprise within the wine industry.
Anton Swarts’ frustration with the discrepancies in laboratory analyses made him look into the intricacies and dynamics of tartrate stabilisation of wine in the South African wine industry with a view to enabling winemakers to produce truly tartrate-, protein- and colloid-stable wines, once bottled.
“This year the graduates chose wide-ranging themes for their dissertations which have contributed valuable new insights and pointers to local wine research and industry” says Conrad Louw, chairman of the Institute of Cape Wine Masters. Furthermore, he says that reaching the magical milestone figure of 100 members, is really an enormous highlight for the Institute. It also illustrates the high standard of this academic qualification. Over the past 33 years, despite hordes of contenders who attempted it, only a hundred people could preserve and succeed with the high standards that this self-study programme requires of the candidates.
Cassie du Plessis, former editor of Winelands magazine and now media consultant, freelance writer and photographer, was designated Wine Personality of the Year in recognition of his contribution to wine journalism by promoting the image of wine over a period of 33 years – from his first appointment as chief media officer for KWV in 1984 through to his 15-year editorship of WynLand (formerly Wynboer) magazine, and his stint as communications manager of VinPro until his retirement from KWV in November 2013. The function was held at The Vine Bistro at Glenelly.
The total membership profile of the CWM is 52% male and 48% female. Of the total members of the Institute, the Western Cape members comprise 51% of the total active contingent, and Gauteng 20%, and the overseas members 11%. Another 18% of the total members are either deceased, retired or have resigned.
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.
See profiles and more detailed dissertations below.
ISSUED BY: JENNY MCQUEEN & ASSOCIATES
ON BEHALF OF: CAPE WINE ACADEMY & THE INSTITUTE OF CAPE WINEMASTERS
FURTHER INFORMATION: BENNIE HOWARD / INSTITUTE OF CAPE
WINEMASTERS: 082 551 5545
KRISTINA BEUTHNER / PRINCIPAL – CWA - JHB
TEL: 011 024 3616 - email@example.com
TEL: 021 439 5063/082 579 9125 - firstname.lastname@example.org
PLEASE SEE NEXT PAGES FOR MORE DETAILS
PROFILES AND MORE DETAILS OF THE CAPE WINE MASTERS:
PROFILE: BRENDAN BUTLER
Brendan Butler, 30, is the winemaker and brand ambassador for Mount Vernon since December 2014. He is the youngest person to complete the CWA’s Introduction and Diploma course. He graduated cum laude in 2008 with a B Agriculture degree majoring in Oenology (Cellar Technology) and Viticulture at Elsenburg. He attained his CWA Diploma in 2011 and has been working towards his Cape Wine Masters since then.
His earlier working stints were at Jordan Wine Estate where he was assistant winemaker between 2009 and 2012, and at Nitida Cellars as winemaker and viticulturist from 2013 to 2014.
Among Brendan’s more unusual accomplishments he did an advanced snake handling course in 2014, but a more prestigious one was his Golden Key International Honour Society membership from 2006 to 2008. Membership is by invitation only, and is only extended to the top 15% students, as identified by their universities across all degree programmes.
This, the world’s largest honour society, was founded in 1977 at the Georgia State University in Atlanta, and is committed to scholarship offerings, career development, leadership development and community service. It is affiliated with more than 400 universities in eight countries. The Society’s mission is “to enable members to realize their potential through the advancement of academics, leadership and service.”
BRENDAN BUTLER’S DISSERTATION: White Bordeaux-style blends in South Africa
Butler’s research paper on White Bordeaux-style blends in South Africa, provided information on the vineyard status of both component cultivars (Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc), with reference to the history of these blends in Bordeaux. It examined the viticultural and vinicultural aspects that highlight variations in both cellar and vineyard; which have an influence on each producer’s wine and their style.
As there is at present no official legislation governing white Bordeaux-style blends in South Africa. This provides winemakers with the scope to excel in their efforts, and affords the industry a growth opportunity in terms of the following of these blends, as well as the overall number of producers.
PROFILE: FRANCOIS CILLIÈ
François Cillié 38, is the International Marketing Manager for Stark-Condé & Man) Family Wines. He has had six years of sales and marketing experience on all the major international wine markets (Europe, USA, Canada, Australasia, Asia, Middle East and Africa), and another five years on the South African market. He was also heavily involved in the local retail sector for two years.
François’s first job was as manager for Caroline’s Fine Wine Cellar from 2002 to 2004. This was followed by an eight-year spell from 2004 until 2011 as the International and National Sales & Marketing Manager for Fairview and Citrusdal Wines.
His later career history, includes amongst others, stints as International Sales Manager, working for Red Espresso which was the first company to produce an espresso style strong rooibos tea to a patented grind, thereby introducing a new beverage category with additional health benefits of no-caffeine and high anti-oxidant content. Furthermore, it also includes Taste of Terroir (representing seven wine brands including, Rhebokskloof, D’Aria, Freedom Hill, Thandi, Lords and Nativo); and Neil Ellis Wines, where he doubled up as Marketing Manager.
François matriculated at Afrikaans High School for Boys in Pretoria in 1997. He attained his Marketing Management Diploma at Boland College, Stellenbosch, in 2004, and then completed the Higher Diploma at the Institute of Commerce and Administration.
He also enjoys scuba diving, mountain biking, trail running and off-road triathlons in his spare time – and at one stage used to sing in the Stellenbosch University choir.
François, together with some friends, produces a wine label called Inixion (meaning ‘a new beginning’ in Italian).
Not surprisingly, given his prior involvement with Red Espresso, his Cape Wine Master’s dissertation focused on the viability of using the wood from the indigenous rooibos (Aspalathus linearus) and honeybush (Cyclopia genistoides) as an alternative to sulphur for their proven anti-oxidative and preservative qualities in wine.
FRANCOIS CILLÉ’S DISSERTATION: Alternative anti-oxidants and preservatives in wine: the viability of rooibos and honeybush wood
Cillié’s dissertation discussed the viability of the use of the wood from the indigenous rooibos (Aspalathus linearus) and honeybush (Cyclopia genistoides) as an alternative to sulphur for their proven natural anti-oxidative and preservative qualities in wine.
Interviews were conducted, and wine presentations were executed. A survey was also sent out to wine industry-related researchers, producers, distributors, retailers and consumers to determine their experience and opinion on the subject. It also examined their recommendations to ensure successful incorporation of the rooibos and honeybush alternative to market, aimed at increasingly health-conscious consumers and wine producers.
Three possible wine styles and marketing messages exist: the “no sulphur added’ message referring to a healthier choice; the “rooibos and honeybush wooded” message offering more adventurous consumers a unique style and flavour of wine; and finally, producing wines combining lower sulphur additions and the use of rooibos and honeybush wood without making any mention of it. The success of these respective approaches could be quite significant amid the growing health-conscious trends among consumers and wine producers who can incorporate it as a unique selling proposition in their marketing campaigns.
The need to use additives in the winemaking process for preservation and anti-oxidant-related reasons has long been a well-known fact.
Sulphur is by far the most commonly-used additive, as it has both preservative and anti-oxidative properties. The use of sulphur has been a contentious subject for a long time, not only in the wine industry, but also in the preservation of other consumables.
In recent years, more and more consumers have developed an interest in how their daily consumables are produced. Many have become not only health-conscious but also knowledgeable, often taking a firm stance against high levels of artificial additives being used. In general, consumers would welcome more research into natural alternative additives.
Due to increased scientific research and experimentation, numerous wine companies have incorporated such results into their marketing campaigns. There is a trend towards lower sulphur, and no added sulphur wines, which started with the organic winemaking revolution a few years ago. Criticism of high sulphur wines is on the rise, due to negative health effects on a small but growing proportion of the population.
Prior research consists of additives and winemaking practices which could help achieve moderate but acceptable sulphur levels (or completely avoid adding any sulphur) without compromising quality, the potential to mature or drastically changing the flavour profile of a wine. In reality, consumers very often indicate where their preferences lie.
This, in turn, should indicate to producers where change is needed and what to focus on next. The current trend towards healthy living is prompting some producers to research alternative natural additives and adjust their winemaking techniques accordingly.
PROFILE: IVAN OERTLE
Ivan Oertle, 47, has recently joined Grande Provence as their national sales and marketing manager. He was previously a specialist wine consultant for VinPro and the Wine and Brandy Transformation Unit after a retail career spanning 31 years, latterly as a specialist wine buyer for Woolworths. He also makes his retail wine expertise available as a member of the Western Cape Government’s Department of Agriculture’s Unit of Technical Assistance (UTA) with Casidra.
Oertle matriculated at Bergvliet High in Cape Town, and started work as Foods trainee at Woolworths Stores in 1984, progressing over the next 32 years from Foods Supervisor, Assistant Merchandiser, Merchandiser, Buyer then Senior Buyer to Specialist Wine Buyer in 2010 for a five-year spell. He completed the South African and the International Wine courses in 1999-2000 followed by the Wine Diploma course in 2010 at the Cape Wine Academy.
Over the years Oertle has built up an impressive local and international knowledge of food and wine retailers, including consumer trends. He attended a diverse range of business courses through the Graduate School of Business and the Woolworths Retail Academy. The experience he gained in developing business and brand strategies stand him in good stead as a wine consultant for emerging or established wine businesses.
While wine events and tasting clubs are a big part of his social scene, Oertle also enjoys mountain biking, hiking, travelling, gardening and music.
IVAN OERTLE’S DISSERTATION: Evaluating the development of emerging South African Black-owned wine companies
Ivan Oertle’s dissertation evaluated the development of emerging Black-owned South African wine companies and made recommendations for their sustainable success within the wine industry.
Research and interviews were conducted with wine industry bodies, producers and emerging enterprises. It was found that black-owned wine companies’ development is hindered by the lack of adequate partnerships and mentorship relationships, experience and knowledge as well as funding and integration into the South African wine industry.
Funding is available for black-owned wine companies. However, it is mainly for the purpose of promoting exports, while access to funds for the domestic market are considerably limited. Black-owned wine brands are marginally represented in the South African retail market, and those succeeding in this market are in partnership relationships.
The study aims to encourage increased partnership initiatives, thus reducing the difficulties and risks associated with emerging black owned wine companies operating in isolation. The increasing social and cultural pressures, including demands made by the government, require wine producers to adapt their business models. The aim is to be more inclusive to the emerging market, encouraging greater participation within the wine industry, and increasing the wine consumption for the majority of South Africans. The adapted, integrated models will increase the level of transformation in the wine industry in a sustainable manner.
The conclusion reached in this dissertation is that the primary recommendation for the development of Black-owned wine companies, is to build effective and appropriate partnerships with like-minded wineries or wine businesses to achieve common goals and objectives. Collaboration, together with skills and knowledge transfer, is fundamental to the sustainability and success of an emerging enterprise.
PROFILE: ANTON SWARTS
Anton Swarts, 42, is currently senior winemaker of Spier Wines (Pty Ltd, where he has been working since 1999. By 2004 he had progressed to junior red winemaker for the Winecorp Private Label. He was senior white winemaker until 2016. He completed the CWA Diploma in 2011, the SA Brand Association’s Van Ryn’s Advanced Brandy Course in 2014, and he was on the Spier Management Development Programme in 2015. Anton attained his National Diploma: Agriculture (Viticulture, Pomology, Vegetable Production) at the Cape Technikon, in conjunction with Elsenburg Agricultural College in 1998.
Anton was designated the Top Taster in the SA Wine Tasting Championships for three consecutive years from 2013 to 2015, and he was also a reserve taster for Team SA 2013 that went to France for the Bordeaux for World Championship 2013. Furthermore, he served as a judge on the Veritas Pinot Noir panel from 2014 to 2016.
ANTON SWARTS’ DISSERTATION: A look at tartrate stabilisation of wine in the South African wine industry
Anton Swarts’ dissertation looked at tartrate stabilisation of wine in the South African wine industry.
The dissertation originated from queries and frustrations he had as a winemaker regarding the discrepancies in analyses after he had tartrate-stabilised wine. One laboratory would test the wine as tartrate ‘stable’, where another laboratory would test the wine as tartrate ‘unstable’ due to the formation of ‘fine crystals’. A scenario also presented itself where wine was tartrate stabilised and produced a sediment some months after bottling.
Manufacturers, suppliers, laboratory personnel, lectures, wine experts, sommeliers and winemakers within the various South African and global wine industry were communicated with because it was necessary to accumulate years of knowledge and personal experience as well as the latest information and science on how they perceived and understood the dynamics of tartrate stabilisation.
With closer investigation and further research, it was concluded that blindly adding carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC), for example, to a tank of wine, hoping and trusting that the wine will be tartrate stable indeterminately, is not necessarily the case.
The dissertation focusses and discusses the current tartrate stabilisation processes, methods and additives available to the South African wine industry. It gives a brief overview of how tartrate stabilisation has evolved into what it is today.
The dissertation explains what tartrates are and how it is formed, and furthermore discusses the intricacies and dynamics of tartrate stabilisation, and how a winemaker can look at the different variables that influence tartrate stabilisation so that their wine, once bottled, will be truly tartrate-, protein- and colloid-stable.