Founded in 1979, the Cape Wine Academy is recognised as the official wine education and training institution in South Africa. 

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Cape Wine Masters Programme

 
Cost: On application
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The Cape Wine Master is the highest formal qualification in the South African Wine Industry. CWMs belong to the Institute of Cape Wine Masters (ICWM).

Course overview
The Cape Wine Master qualification is a self-study course, and there are no formal lectures or tastings. Most candidates form or join study support groups. Candidates are provided with a mentor who will provide guidance and support.

Students must successfully complete the following programme elements to achieve the Cape Wine Master qualification:

» Four tasting exams of international and South African wines
— Natural wines, sparkling wines, dessert and fortified wines, and brandy
» Four theory exams
— Viticulture, viniculture, distilled and other products, and general knowledge
» A dissertation on a topic that has been approved by the examining committee
» Present a formal tasting to an examining panel.

Prerequisite
Once you have successfully completed the four-module Diploma Wine Course at the Cape Wine Academy, with an average pass mark of 60%, you can apply to study toward the qualification of Wine Master.

Passion for wine is an imperative for the journey toward becoming a Cape Wine Master. There is no requirement that candidates should be involved directly in the wine industry or wine education.

It is likely that people who are this committed to the enjoyment and knowledge of wine will be involved in lecturing at the Cape Wine Academy or hosting wine tastings in their community.

Course Duration:
Candidates have a total of 5 years from the date of registration to complete the various components of the qualification. However, a (small) number of our members have completed the course in less than 2 years.

 

 
Cape Wine Masters 2015
About the Institute of Cape Wine Masters
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.

The qualification was first instituted in 1983 and the first three CWMs were Duimpie Bayly, Bennie Howard and the late Tony Mossop. Over the last 30 years some 209 candidates have enrolled, of whom 93 (including overseas members and the 3 first  Cape Wine Masters) have qualified. The current membership profile is 48 men and 45 female Cape Wine Masters.
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The ICWM is an active group of knowledgeable people who are formally qualified, objective and passionate about local and international wine matters.

The Institute runs tastings and other wine events, provides membership services to the members of the ICWMs world-wide, and information and access to specialist advice for the wine industry in general.
 

 

Cape Wine Master Dissertations
As part of the requirements to qualify as a Cape Wine Master, candidates must submit an assignment that meets the requirements set by the committee. Copies of all Cape Wine Master Dissertations are held in the SAWIS library in Paarl and the most recent dissertations are published below.

 

 

THREE NEW CAPE WINE MASTERS GRADUATE                                       6 May 2016


Three 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 The Franschhoek Cellar, on Friday, May 6.

The three new Cape Wine Masters are Janno Briers-Louw, Jacques Steyn and Karin Visser. Their dissertations were respectively titled: Dryland viticulture:  an overview of the South African situation; Biodynamic viticulture in South Africa – nature’s principles or pseudoscience?; and Pinot Noir in South Africa and New Zealand with specific reference to Hemel-en-Aarde and Central Otago.
Janno Briers-Louw who is managing director of his family’s farm in Agter Paarl, launched the Eenzaamheid Wines brand in 2012 and has been winning numerous awards for Eenzaamheid wines ever since. He also won the Viticulture award, sponsored by Hein Koegelenberg of La Motte. A graduate from Stellenbosch University, he has visited numerous overseas wine-producing countries over the years, put in harvest internships locally and abroad, and worked as harvest winemaker at Spice Route, Swartland, and at Perdeberg’s Ultra Premium Cellar in Agter Paarl.

 

Jacques Steyn is currently national sales manager of Jordan Wines – after a varied career as junior and operations manager for restaurants, ranging from chef, sommelier, wine ambassador, tasting room manager and even cellarhand, to more recent stints as associate judge for prestigious South African wine competitions. He was also the recipient of the Sparkling Wine trophy, sponsored by Villiera, and was presented with a Sabre by Jeff Grier.

 

Karin Visser has been the Western Cape sales manager of Great Domaines, a Johannesburg-based fine wine importing company since 2015. After 10 years in the medical field – as cardiac technician and biokinetics practitioner – and following travels abroad to wine-producing countries, she attained her CWA diploma and then ran her own wine and tapas bar in Cape Town’s trendy Bree Street for three years until 2013.
According to Winnie Bowman, chairman of the Institute of Cape Wine Masters), the new wine masters’ dissertations enhance the Institute’s body of knowledge.

 

Briers-Louw compiled an overview of dryland viticulture that comprises 15% of the vineyards in South Africa, mainly concentrated in the Malmesbury, Stellenbosch and Paarl regions. Steyn’s dissertation was on breaking down the prejudices about biodynamic farming principles with its ‘’spiritual science” approach which is increasingly being recognised as a qualitative option for sustainable viticulture. Visser made a comparison of two leading New World Pinot Noir producing regions in New Zealand and South Africa, focussing on three prominent producers in each region.

 

The current number of Cape Wine Masters (CWMs)  now totals 96) including 12 from overseas and two of the three original winemasters - Duimpie Bayly and Bennie Howard who, together with the late Tony Mossop, were the first to attain this prestigious qualification when it was first instituted 32 years ago.

 

The current membership profile of the CWM is 52% (50) male and 48% (46) female. Western Cape members comprise 56% of the total contingent, and Gauteng 29%, while other provinces – KwaZulu-Natal and Free State comprise 3% and overseas members 12%.

 

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.

 

At the annual Institute of Cape Winemasters’ Dinner on Saturday, 7 May, the special award of Wine Personality of the Year was presented to Charl Theron.

 

Charl Theron is the CEO of the Cape Vintners Classification, as well as a member of the technical committee at the Wine and Spirit Board. He was a lecturer in Oenology at Stellenbosch University for many years, and is still a guest lecturer at the CWA. His achievements include a stint as director of KWV as well as many other leadership positions in the industry. He has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to improving the quality of South African wines through his membership of many wine organisations. Charl’s love of wine has seen him adopting new ways of training wine lovers through his wine appreciation course and course for judging wine.

 

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 kristina@capewineacademy.co.za
JENNY MCQUEEN, TEL: 021 439 5063/082 579 9125
jenny@mcqueen.co.za

 

JANNO BRIERS-LOUW CV:
Janno Briers-Louw, 32, grew up as the seventh generation on the family farm Eenzaamheid in Agter Paarl.  One year after matriculating at Paarl Boys High in 2002, he started his journey in wine as a member of the Cape Wine Academy which culminated in his graduation as Cape Wine Master in 2016.

Following annual visits to the Rhine in Germany in 2003, he worked as harvest intern at Rosenblum Cellars in California in 2004.

He started his B.Agric Cellar Management and Viticulture studies as part of the Elsenburg degree programme at Stellenbosch University in 2005, interspersed by visits in 2005 and 2006 to Argentina and Australia and part-time harvest work at Fairview Wines in 2007, the year he graduated successfully.

For the next two years, he was harvest winemaker at Spice Route, Swartland, on the family farm, Eenzaamheid, and at Perdeberg’s Ultra Premium Cellar in Agter Paarl. In 2009 as harvest winemaker and with very limited equipment he introduced an Eenzaamheid maiden vintage, the first wine produced there in two generations. He also completed the Cape Wine Academy Diploma.
In 2012 he visited Burgundy, Alsace and Champagne and launched the Eenzaamheid Wines brand. He has been managing director ever since, with his wines steadily winning many awards, among others, several Top 100 SA Wines, Michelangelo Gold medals, and a five-star award in the 2016  edition of the  Platter’s South African Wine Guide.
He registered at the Institute of Cape Wine Masters in 2011 and passed all the requirements for CWM in 2016.

 

JANNO BRIERS-LOUW DISSERTATION: DRYLAND VITICULTURE:  AN OVERVIEW OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN SITUATION
Dryland viticulture is becoming increasingly more challenging, given the realities of global warming and the current financial climate. Not all terroir – the total natural environment comprising climate, soil, and location aspects – is suitable for the dryland cultivation of wine grapes. The viticulturist therefore requires a good knowledge of the terroir variables and their influence on a particular site.
Most vineyards in the European Union are farmed dryland and irrigation is often frowned upon there. This dissertation briefly explores the main parameters for successful dryland viticulture, including the financial implications. The particular focus of the study is on South Africa’s dryland vineyards – which currently comprises approximately 15% of South Africa’s vineyards, of which nearly 90% of these vines are grown in Malmesbury, Stellenbosch and Paarl – and the implications for winemaking.

 

JACQUES STEYN CV:  
Jacques Steyn, national sales manager of Jordan Wines, moved to Cape Town in 2006 to study the culinary arts and discovered his passion for wine and the intrinsic links between the two. He completed all the necessary courses and passed all the requirements to enrol in the Cape Wine Masters programme.
Apart from attaining the City & Guilds Diploma in Food Preparation at the Institute of Culinary Arts, other achievements include completing the Garagiste Small Scale Winemaking course at Stellenbosch University and two Michael Fridjhon Wine Judging courses.
Steyn also did stints as Associate Judge at the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show in 2013 and 2014 and 2016, as well as at the 2014 Veritas Competition, the 2014 Young Wine Show Competition and the 2014 FNB Top 10 Sauvignon Blanc Competition.
He notched up wide professional experience serving as wine ambassador for Delaire-Graff Wine Estate for two years, working for a short spell as sommelier for the Singita Group at the Sabi Sands, Kruger National Park and in Tanzania, and doing a two-month cellarhand stint, one year as tasting manager and one and a half years as restaurant manager at Lourensford Wine Estate. Prior to that held managerial positions in restaurants in Hermanus for two years.


JACQUES STEYN DISSERTATION:  BIODYNAMIC VITICULTURE IN SOUTH AFRICA – NATURE’S PRINCIPLES OR PSEUDOSCIENCE?
According to Steyn: “My philosophical inquiry led me to attend a Nicholas Joly seminar which cemented the ideas regarding my thesis topics. One of the primary aims of the thesis was to break down my own prejudices regarding biodynamics and to present it in a fresh, creative way.”
Biodynamic viticulture is increasingly being recognised as being a qualitative option for sustainable viticulture. Based on the anthroposophical ideas of Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner, top established winemakers such as Nicholas Joly and Johan Reyneke lead the way, abroad and locally, in this “spiritual science” approach.
It is argued that the continued appreciation for The Waldorf schools, which also base their system on anthroposophy, will surely be a breeding ground for future winemakers and farmers who will embrace this philosophy. This report will attempt to demystify biodynamics of its perceptions as a ‘’witches’ brew’’, while attaining a deeper understanding and insight into its back-to-nature route by bringing it within the sphere of healthy agricultural practice.


KARIN VISSER CV:
After her studies – in Human Movement Science at the University of Stellenbosch, followed by an Honours degree in Biokinetics at Potchefstroom University in 1999 – Karin Visser worked as a cardiac technician at a number of hospitals in London. Upon her return to South Africa in 2003, she ran her own Biokinetics practice in Cape Town for seven years.
During this time, and while travelling abroad, visiting many leading wine producing countries, she discovered the complexities of wine and furthered her studies through the Cape Wine Academy. In 2010, after attaining her Diploma, she decided to bid her farewells to the medical profession.
With a partner she opened a wine and tapas bar called 'French Toast' in Cape Town which became a popular meeting place, offering discerning wine lovers an impressive selection of local and foreign wines, many available by the glass, in the then up-and-coming, hip Bree Street zone. She sold the business in 2013.
In 2015 she joined Great Domaines, a fine wine importing company, based in Johannesburg, and she runs the sales division in the Western Cape, looking after private and trade clients. She enjoys expanding her knowledge and love for the fine wines of the world, sharing and learning from like-minded people.


KARIN VISSER – DISSERTATION:  PINOT NOIR IN SOUTH AFRICA AND NEW ZEALAND WITH SPECIFIC REFERENCE TO HEMEL-EN-AARDE AND CENTRAL OTAGO
New World Pinot Noir has been nudging its way to the forefront in the wine world for the past two decades. This study analyses and compares in detail two leading New World Pinot Noir producing regions, namely Central Otago in New Zealand and Hemel-en-Aarde in South Africa, by comparing the sub-regional differences within the two chosen regions and spotlighting three prominent producers in each region, in terms of a wide range of factors, such as climatic and viticultural conditions, winemaking and wine style.
In the process a model has been developed that could effectively regulate the interflow between a set of interrelated factors in the production of Pinot Noir. This model could especially assist Hemel-en-Aarde Pinot Noir producers to expand their markets – and to achieve the ultimate goal of greater global recognition.