Brendan Butler is the winemaker and brand ambassador for Mount Vernon Wines since December 2014. He is the youngest person to complete the CWA’s Introduction and Diploma course. He graduated cum laude in 2008 with a B Agriculture degree majoring in Oenology (Cellar Technology) and Viticulture at Elsenburg. He attained his CWA Diploma in 2011 and has been working towards his Cape Wine Masters since then.
His earlier working stints were at Jordan Wine Estate where he was assistant winemaker between 2009 and 2012, and at Nitida Cellars as winemaker and viticulturist from 2013 to 2014.
Among Brendan’s more unusual accomplishments he did an advanced snake handling course in 2014, but a more prestigious one was his Golden Key International Honour Society membership from 2006 to 2008. Membership is by invitation only, and is only extended to the top 15% students, as identified by their universities across all degree programmes.
This, the world’s largest honour society, was founded in 1977 at the Georgia State University in Atlanta, and is committed to scholarship offerings, career development, leadership development and community service. It is affiliated with more than 400 universities in eight countries. The Society’s mission is “to enable members to realize their potential through the advancement of academics, leadership and service.”
BRENDAN BUTLER’S DISSERTATION: White Bordeaux-style blends in South Africa
Butler’s research paper on White Bordeaux-style blends in South Africa, provided information on the vineyard status of both component cultivars (Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc), with reference to the history of these blends in Bordeaux. It examined the viticultural and vinicultural aspects that highlight variations in both cellar and vineyard; which have an influence on each producer’s wine and their style.
As there is at present no official legislation governing white Bordeaux-style blends in South Africa, this provides winemakers with the scope to excel in their efforts, and affords the industry a growth opportunity in terms of the following of these blends, as well as the overall number of producers.