Twelve of the world’s best sommeliers gathered in South Africa this weekend when they took part in the WOSA 2010 Sommelier World Cup finals hosted by Grande Roche Hotel in Paarl.
The 12 finalists, representing various countries from around the world, were hosted in South Africa for a week-long tour of the winelands, visiting some of the Cape's most prestigious wineries.
The eight month long competition (which has held heats world-wide) culminated with the final on the October 16th at the Grande Roche Hotel and Restaurant, where all sommeliers were put through their paces by an esteemed panel of judges.
“We are very excited to host the Sommelier World Cup on our shores for the first time. We will be working with the world’s best sommeliers, while they get to taste our wines which are some of the world’s best kept secrets,” says WOSA CEO Su Birch.
Apart from meeting and tasting with some of South Africa’s award-winning winemakers, the finalists also dined in some of South Africa's iconic restaurants and explored the wonderfully diverse cuisine on offer, including Grande Roche’s acclaimed Bosman’s Restaurant where a gourmet dinner was prepared by acclaimed Executive Chef, Roland Gorgosilich, to welcome the international guests.
Having just appointed one of only a handful of accredited sommeliers in South Africa, Josephine Gutentoft, Bosman’s has also been awarded the Best of Award of Excellence 2010 by Wine Spectator for having one of the most outstanding restaurant wine lists in the world and as joint best winelist in South Africa by the recent Diners Club Winelist Awards.
***STOP PRESS*** - Many congratulations go to American Christopher Bates from Pennsylvania who was judged the overall winner on Saturday. Runners-up were Veronique Rivest from Canada, Francesco Azzarone from Norway and Stefaan Camerlinck from Belgium.