ICWM Graduation Ceremony at the Barrel Cellar, Nederburg

Four new Cape Wine Masters (CWM) who graduated from the Cape Wine Academy (CWA) during lockdown were presented with their diplomas at a ceremony in the Nederburg Barrel Cellar on Friday, 27 November, after the graduation was delayed since May, due to Covid-19 regulations. This brings the number of CWMs to attain this elite self-study qualification in the 41-year history of the CWA to 106.

The four new Cape Wine Masters are Lisha Nelson (De Villiers), CEO of Nelson Wine Estate, Paarl,  Wanda Cronje of Fun with Food from Durbanville, Karen Bloom, a wine lover from Durban, and Boela Gerber, winemaker of Groot Constantia.

Their dissertations cover a wide range of topics. In summary: the rise of Prosecco as an affordable and viable MCC and sparkling wine contender in South Africa; the use of ovoid (egg-shaped) and alternative wine vessels in winemaking; exploiting the qualities of the wine yeast Brettanomyces naturally present in wine for improved cellar management practices; and looking into which constituents in wine pose a risk to health and how winemakers could produce healthier wines.

The customary special awards for best performance in the examinations were also presented.

Boela Gerber, 2020 CWM graduate and winemaker of Groot Constantia, won a special award for Viticulture and the 2020 Villiera Sabre Award for outstanding achievement in the Sparkling Wine tasting examination. He was handed a pewter ice bucket and plaque by La Motte’s viticulturist Jaco Visser and the Sabre award by Jeff Grier of Villiera.

Lisha de Villiers, Wanda Cronjé, Karen Bloom, Boela Gerber

Jeff Grier (Villiera), Boela Gerber, Cathy Brewer (Villiera)