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 programme elements to achieve the Cape Wine Master qualification:

  1. Four tasting exams of international and South African wines: natural / sparkling / dessert and fortified / brandy
  2. Four theory exams: viticulture / viniculture / distilled and other products / general knowledge
  3. A dissertation on a topic that has been approved by the examining committee
  4. A formal tasting presentation to an examining panel

In the first year of registration, it is compulsory to sit all four tasting exams AND one theory exam.

Cost: on application

Course Requirements

Once candidates have successfully completed the 4-module Diploma Wine Course at the Cape Wine Academy with an average pass mark of 60%, or another similar Diploma in wine, they can apply to study toward the qualification of Cape Wine Master.

If candidates complete the 4-module Diploma Wine Course in June, they could register to write CWM exams in October of the same year.

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.

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