Dillon, Catherine

Year Qualified: 2011

Catherine was born and raised in Cape Town and completed a teaching degree from Stellenbosch University and UCT. Catherine was awarded Full Sports Colours for Hockey whilst studying at Stellenbosch, and represented South Africa at both school and senior level. After teaching at Springfield Convent, Catherine headed overseas, travelling extensively, whilst teaching in London.

Returning to Cape Town, Catherine set up a tourism business and realised quite soon that her wine knowledge was not equal to her historical knowledge, thus embarking on her first wine course at the CWA. During the next courses leading to CWM, Catherine focussed her business of wine specific tours, dealing with knowledgeable clients, journalists, wine clubs and winemakers from all over the world.

Catherine believes wine tourism to be an area that can be developed further and key to this development is sound training and education of tourist guides, restaurant and front of house staff.

Catherine lectures for the CWA on all levels and loves combining her three life passions: education, wine and people. Catherine worked at the Decanter World Wine Awards in 2008 & 2009, as both a wine warehouse assistant and Team Leader during judging week. Meeting internationally renowned wine judges, and tasting excellent wines such as the Charles Heidseick 1979 Champagne and Royal Tokaji Essencia 2000, rank as memorable experiences.

Interest outside of wine includes cooking (Thai and Moroccan in particular), playing the piano and supporting local rugby, viz. Stormers! Future travel plans include Slovenia (as tour leader for a wine interest group), Washington State (business interest) and Italy (for good wine and fun!).

Dissertation Topic

Waste management in the South African wine industry