Year Qualified : 2012
Six months later his passion for wine had intensified and he was offered a casual position which later became full time in the tasting room at Villiera Wines. While keeping tabs with the tasting room over weekends, he also worked two harvests in the cellar, was involved in a BEE program, occupational health and safety related matters and WIETA (Wine and Agricultural Industry Ethical Trade Association) accreditation. During this time he completed the Cape Wine Academy Certificate course and started with the first module of the Cape Wine Academy Diploma course. In 2004, he also started lecturing for the Academy at the Introduction level.
From 2006 – 2011 Raymond worked as production and logistics manager at MAN Vintners, during which time he completed the CWA Diploma course and enrolled for the Cape Wine Masters program in January 2008, while continuing to lecture for the Academy, later at Certificate level.
In 2012 he qualified as a Cape Wine Master and received the Groenland Wines Award for the top viniculture student at the graduation ceremony. Shortly afterwards he started working for Oldenburg Vineyards in Stellenbosch as Regional Sales Manager for Asia and Africa. This position included numerous travels to Hong Kong, China and African countries to promote the wines of Oldenburg.
In 2015 he was offered the position as Sales Manager for Delheim Wines, a family owned winery nestled against the slopes of the picturesque Simonsberg outside Stellenbosch. Here he looked after both the local and international markets. After two years, at the end of 2016, Raymond decided to venture into wine retail when he became the manager for the Bottelary Hills Wine Centre, a premium wine store situated on the outskirts of Stellenbosch.
Raymond still lives in Stellenbosch while continuing to be actively involved with wine judging. Since 2012 he has served on numerous wine judging panels, including Veritas, SA Young Wine Show, SAA Wine Awards, Muscadel SA, Cape Port Producer’s Association, Classic Wine Magazine and Wineland Magazine.
He currently also serves as the Communications Officer and Secretary for the Institute of Cape Wine Masters.
Rise of the Dragon: the Chinese wine market