CWM Study Programme

The Cape Wine Master programme, recognised as the highest qualification in wine education in South Africa, is administered by the Cape Wine Academy, who provides a range of social and professional wine courses for individuals and tertiary institutions.

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 ten programme elements to achieve the Cape Wine Master qualification:

  • Four x 2 hour practical tasting examinations: Natural (still) wines / Sparkling wines / Sweet and Fortified wines / Brandy
  • Four x 3 hour theoretical examinations: Viticulture / Winemaking / Brandy and other distilled and fermented products / General knowledge
  • A research-based dissertation on a topic that has been approved by the educational committee
  • A formal wine tasting presentation to an examining panel

    In the first year of writing, candidates must take all four tasting examinations and at least one theoretical examination.

    Cost: on application

    Course Entry Requirements

    The Cape Wine Academy Diploma Wine Course is the minimum prescribed qualifying examination. Candidates must have achieved a minimum of 60% in all the qualifying examinations of the CWA Diploma Wine Course in order to apply for registration to the Cape Wine Master programme.

    Local and International qualifications and the recognition of other prior learning will be considered on application.

    Applications to register for the CWM programme will open in February and will close on the 31st July of each year.

    The Cape Wine Academy will advise candidates of their application status within 2 weeks after their submission.

    Passion for wine is an imperative for the journey toward becoming a Cape Wine Master. While a number of Cape Wine Masters are employed in the wine industry as marketers, educators, retailers, and winemakers, there is no requirement that candidates should be involved directly in the wine industry or wine education.

    Course Duration

    Candidates have a total of 5 years from the date of registration to complete the various components of the qualification.

    For more information, please visit or email

    ICWM Graduation 2017, Cape Wine Masters, ICWM

    Examination Papers

    Below are examples of prior examination papers to give prospective candidates an idea of the rigorous nature and high standards students must meet in order to earn the title of Cape Wine Master.

    Cape Wine Masters, ICWM, Andy Roediger