The Cape Winemakers Guild has awarded study bursaries to two oenology and viticulture students at Elsenburg College as part of its ongoing Protégé program to further the development of young aspiring winemakers. The bursaries provide the students with financial support during their final year of study, after which they may become eligible for the Guild’s three year internship program.
This year’s recipients of the Cape Winemakers Guild Protégé Bursaries are Chandré Petersen, who hails from Paarl and Sifiso Mbhele from Bergville in Kwa-Zulu Natal.
Chandré fell in love with wine’s “mystical qualities” at an early age, especially reds, thanks to her father and hopes to specialise in Pinotage, Merlot and Chenin Blanc one day. “I grew up in a famous winemaking area, Paarl, and hardly heard of a woman winemaker. It became a huge challenge to me and I am now determined to succeed in the wine industry,” says Chandré
Sifiso has his sights set on becoming a cellarmaster one day. “In South Africa, winemaking is a scarce skill that offers a lot of opportunities. I want to enlighten the people from where I come from about winemaking and wine itself and as a future winemaker, encourage the youth to make winemaking their career.”
Once they have graduated, both aspiring winemakers will be interviewed for the Cape Winemakers Guild Protégé Programme, which offers students a three year internship during which time they will have the opportunity to learn from, and work alongside some of the country’s best winemakers who are members of the Guild.
This is the second year in which the Guild has offered these bursaries. Last year’s bursary holders, Sacha Claassen and Tamsyn Jefta, were both welcomed on board the Guild’s Protégé Programme in 2010 and have begun their internships at Villiera and The Company of Wine People respectively.
The Cape Winemakers Guild Protégé Programme was launched in 2006 under the auspices of the Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Trust with the goal of bringing about transformation in the wine industry by cultivating, nurturing and empowering promising individuals to become winemakers of excellence. This empowering educational bursary from the Guild with the assistance of AGRI-Seta requires outstanding marks and an excellent aptitude for winemaking.