The membership of the prestigious Cape Winemakers Guild has grown to 45 with the induction of two new members, Bartho Eksteen of Hermanuspietersfontein Wingerde and Miles Mossop of Tokara.
Besides being a phenomenal winemaker, Bartho Eksteen, 2010 Diners Club Winemaker of the Year, is known, above all, for his passion for Sauvignon blanc. He is one of the protagonists of the Sauvignon Blanc Interest Group, his annual Sauvignon Blanc Celebration enjoys a loyal following and he was involved in the founding of the Diners Club Bartho Eksteen Wine Academy. His wines always feature prominently in the South African Terroir Awards both as Regional and National winners, his 2009 Die Bartho and 2010 Nr. 5 Sauvignon Blanc are 5-star Platter wines, the 2006 and 2007 Kleinboet are Wine Magazine Top 10 Bordeaux Blends, and he boasts numerous Berliner Wein Trophy Gold medals. Over the years his wines have also been served on leading international airlines, KLM, British Airways, Swiss International Airlines as well as South African Airways.
Miles Mossop is at the forefront of modern winemaking in South Africa with a remarkable list of awards accumulated in a decade at the helm of Tokara. Having achieved practically every level of award that a South African wine can possibly garner, Miles is extremely professional in his approach to winemaking and his meticulous attention to detail bodes well for future Cape Winemakers Guild auction wines. His string of awards include numerous trophies from the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show, a Veritas Double Gold medal, and Gold medals from numerous local and international competitions including the International Wine Challenge, Decanter World Wine Awards and the Tri-Nations Challenge.
The Management Committee of the Cape Winemakers Guild also enters 2012 with a few changes. Louis Strydom of Ernie Els Wines commences his second year as Chairman and will be supported by new Vice Chairman, Jeff Grier of Villiera, and new Treasurer, David Finlayson of Edgebaston. The Guild also has a new Cellarmaster, Andries Burger of Paul Cluver, and Assistant Cellarmaster, Frans Smit of Spier.
2012 marks the 30th anniversary of the Guild, and with the growth and changes over the years, many of the original members have reached a stage in their careers, where they are no longer at the coalface in the wineries but continue to make a crucial contribution as respected authorities to the industry as a whole. To ensure that this valuable expertise and knowledge is safeguarded within the Cape Winemakers Guild, an additional membership category of Technical Member has evolved. This will enable members who no longer fulfil the requirements of the Producing Membership category to remain active members of the Guild.
Membership of the Cape Winemakers Guild as Producing Members is by invitation only and is extended to winemakers who have been responsible for the production of outstanding wines for a minimum of five years, and who continue to do so.
The Guild is committed, through its members, to innovation and consistent production of high quality, limited edition wines and prides itself on setting new benchmarks for the South African wine industry.
In conjunction with Nedbank, the Guild runs various upliftment programmes in the winelands such as bursaries for secondary and tertiary education and the Protégé Programme, a mentorship programme for young, aspirant winemakers.