Three graduates were awarded their certificates as Cape Wine Masters (CWM) by the Cape Wine Academy and Institute of Cape Wine Masters at a function held at The Franschhoek Cellar, on Friday, May 6.
The three new Cape Wine Masters are Janno Briers-Louw, Jacques Steyn and Karin Visser. Their dissertations were respectively titled: Dryland viticulture: an overview of the South African situation; Biodynamic viticulture in South Africa – nature’s principles or pseudoscience?; and Pinot Noir in South Africa and New Zealand with specific reference to Hemel-en-Aarde and Central Otago.
Jacques Steyn, Karin Visser and Janno Briers-Louw
Janno Briers-Louw who is managing director of his family’s farm in Agter Paarl, launched the Eenzaamheid Wines brand in 2012 and has been winning numerous awards for Eenzaamheid wines ever since. He also won the Viticulture award, sponsored by Hein Koegelenberg of La Motte. A graduate from Stellenbosch University, he has visited numerous overseas wine-producing countries over the years, put in harvest internships locally and abroad, and worked as harvest winemaker at Spice Route, Swartland, and at Perdeberg’s Ultra Premium Cellar in Agter Paarl.
Jacques Steyn is currently national sales manager of Jordan Wines – after a varied career as junior and operations manager for restaurants, ranging from chef, sommelier, wine ambassador, tasting room manager and even cellarhand, to more recent stints as associate judge for prestigious South African wine competitions. He was also the recipient of the Sparkling Wine trophy, sponsored by Villiera, and was presented with a Sabre by Jeff Grier.
Karin Visser has been the Western Cape sales manager of Great Domaines, a Johannesburg-based fine wine importing company since 2015. After 10 years in the medical field – as cardiac technician and biokinetics practitioner – and following travels abroad to wine-producing countries, she attained her CWA diploma and then ran her own wine and tapas bar in Cape Town’s trendy Bree Street for three years until 2013.
According to Winnie Bowman, chairman of the Institute of Cape Wine Masters, the new wine masters’ dissertations enhance the Institute’s body of knowledge.
Bennie Howard, Charl Theron, Dr Winnie Bowman and FC "Duimpie" Bayly
Briers-Louw compiled an overview of dryland viticulture that comprises 15% of the vineyards in South Africa, mainly concentrated in the Malmesbury, Stellenbosch and Paarl regions. Steyn’s dissertation was on breaking down the prejudices about biodynamic farming principles with its ‘’spiritual science” approach which is increasingly being recognised as a qualitative option for sustainable viticulture. Visser made a comparison of two leading New World Pinot Noir producing regions in New Zealand and South Africa, focussing on three prominent producers in each region.
The current number of Cape Wine Masters (CWMs) now totals 96 including 12 from overseas and two of the three original winemasters - Duimpie Bayly and Bennie Howard who, together with the late Tony Mossop, were the first to attain this prestigious qualification when it was first instituted 33 years ago.
The current membership profile of the CWM is 52% (50) male and 48% (46) female. Western Cape members comprise 56% of the total contingent, and Gauteng 29%, while other provinces – KwaZulu-Natal and Free State comprise 3% and overseas members 12%.
Jeff Grier from Villiera Wines handing over the "Villiera Sabre" to Jacques Steyn for achieving the best results in the sparkling wine examination
Bennie Howard, Jacques Steyn, Karin Visser, Janno Briers-Louw and Duimpie Bayly