Bregman, Rowena (deceased, 1937 – 1996)

Year Qualified: 1985

Dissertation Topic: Sherry – a perspective

Rowena Bregman was the first female Cape Wine Master, completing the course within a year of registration and the first graduate from Gauteng. Well known in local wine circles, Rowena was a member of Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, and with her husband, Dan, had started their own wine circle. When the Cape Wine Academy was launched in Johannesburg, Rowena soon completed all the courses on offer, and gave ongoing support to the initiative, including identifying the need for a specific tasting circle for all aspirant Master’s students.

Rowena’s dissertation on Sherry – a perspective, gave a fresh insight into the fortified wine category, and she presented many tastings on the subject. A popular lecturer at the Cape Wine academy she spread her expertise to wider audiences including a wine column in De Rhebus (South African Attorney’s Journal – see links to articles below) and presenting wines over the ‘air’ discussing different varietals every month on the SABC. In her wine slot she encouraged listeners to buy a specified wine and taste it at leisure and then compare their notes with what she found when she tasted it “live” on the program a month later.

Wine was a passion and Rowena had travelled widely and communicated well. A lawyer by profession, she was first woman partner of Webber Wentzel, as well as a wife and mother of two boys. Shortly after gaining her CWM Rowena became ill which curtailed her activities and she passed away in 1996, but her contribution to wine education in South Africa is significant.

After opening the following links, click on the “download” button top right to open up the full pdf version of each article:

Fortified Wines

South African Wines’ Top Awards

South African Red Wines

Dissertation Topic

Sherry - a perspective