Two new Cape Wine Masters celebrated on the 40th anniversary of the ICWM

Two newly graduated Cape Wine Masters (CWM) were presented with their diplomas at the annual awards luncheon on 11 August, hosted by Heineken Beverages at the Tangram Restaurant at the Durbanville Hills Winery. 

The diplomas were awarded by the Cape Wine Academy (CWA) and the Institute of Cape Wine Masters (ICWM), which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

The two new CWMs are Marlee Malan of Vinochem Specialities in Kuils River and Rudolph Steenkamp, a wine and vineyard consultant and co-director of Salt Rock Wines based in Stellenbosch.

The welcome address was delivered by Sharon Keith, marketing director of Heineken Beverages South Africa, on behalf of Jordi Borrut, managing director of Heineken Beverages, who had an unscheduled urgent appointment. This was the first public engagement in the wine industry by Heineken since the company took over Distell in April 2023.

She announced that Caroline Snyman, also a Cape Wine Master, has been appointed as Director for the Innovation, Research and Development Hub of Heineken in Stellenbosch, where she will head up the first Heineken Innovation Hub in Africa and the Southern Hemisphere.

A short tribute was paid to the late Martin Moore, who died suddenly a few months ago after 25 years as winemaker at Durbanville Hills.

ICWM Graduation 2023, Cape Wine Masters, ICWM

Jacques Steyn (ICWM chairperson), Marlee Malan, Rudolph Steenkamp, Heidi Duminy (Principal of the CWA)

Marlee Malan’s dissertation focusses on the application of different types of commercial enzymes in wine production in South Africa as a sustainable, environmentally friendly processing aid. Her research finds that the use of enzymes in winemaking holds great economic benefit by optimising yield, efficiency and quality, while reducing wear and tear on machinery as well as turn-around times in multiple key winemaking processes.

The research and trials conducted over a three-year period clearly show the impact of correctly applied enzymes on juice yield, waste reduction, colour extraction, cellar capacity, and subsequent profitability. The more widespread application of enzymes has the potential to benefit South Africa’s wine producers because they have been proven to be efficient, cost-effective, safe, and sustainable.

ICWM Graduation 2023, Cape Wine Masters, ICWM

Steenkamp’s dissertation gives a short summary of vineyard practices in South Africa and how to convert conventional farming to organic farming step-by-step, armed with an understanding of the complex symbiosis between soil carbon, microbes and the plant, and applying this to increase soil fertility and plant health without using chemical fertilisers, pesticides, and fungicides.

He covers the history and origins of the organic movement and why it was seen as controversial to what is currently being taught in schools and at universities. There is also a detailed account of different organic certification bodies to help grape farmers/wine producers to identify the type of certification which is most relevant to the industry, the current European and American rules and regulations, the business side of farming with insights into structuring protocols and systems and financial risk assessments, and relevant practical solutions and methods for converting to grape organic farming, regardless of wine region.

These highly topical dissertations are available in full on this website and can be downloaded HERE.

ICWM Graduation 2023, Cape Wine Masters, ICWM