Sometimes the best way to truly appreciate ‘ordinary things’ is not to have them for a while. The second round of prohibition and protracted travel restrictions has made many liberties taken for granted so much more precious.
Along with the rest of the world, wine education has been changed forever. The advantage has been the acceleration to blended learning platforms that combine virtual and contact experiences. The tremendous wave of online courses, webinars, tasting experiences, conferences and forums, social media and other creative connections in this time of separation has catapulted endless juicy opportunities to connect, engage and experience wine. This has transcended global boundaries and whilst the connection made by the clink of glasses can never be fully emulated across screens, it certainly has opened a fantastic future of rich immersive learning.
The reimagining of CWA courses started early into lockdown when the protracted reality of our collective new normal became obvious. We have successfully presented the theoretical sessions of several courses virtually and will be completing the experience with various wine tasting seminars for Certificate and Diploma Wine Course, restrictions permitting, from September onwards. We look forward to that – after all, a wine course is not done until the wine has been tasted, taught and understood!
We have also adapted the theoretical exams to online platforms. Nothing can replace the richness of human connection, although there have been some great advantages to these new blended learning methods. For the first time, course groups are getting to know their national classmates and the ability to transcend geographical boundaries has allowed us to secure top lecturers including Cape wine Masters, high profile winemakers and other experts in subject-matter fields.
I’ve been personally and professionally involved in the Cape Wine Academy for more than 20 years both as a student and lecturer. This places me well to navigate this new uncertain world, and I look forward to leading the CWA to a diverse future where the love and appreciation of wine are accessible to all. Education offers wonderful opportunities to advance careers or simply a better understanding and responsible enjoyment of South African wines. Everyone is welcome.
I can’t wait to share news of exciting new experiences and ways to connect with us through wine. I encourage your suggestions, ideas, requests and conversation. Please contact me anytime to discuss your wine education journey or how we can partner to support the wine and related industries through these dark days of COVID-19.
All good things
Cape Wine Academy Principal