And the Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award goes to

Find out who the best Sommeliers in the country are for 2013

01 Nov 2013

At an exclusive Champagne event at the Queen Victoria Hotel at the V&A Waterfront on Thursday 31st October, Kayetan Meissner was announced as the winner of the The Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award 2013.

Kayetan, Sommelier at Bosman’s Restaurant at the Grande Roche Hotel in Paarl, received the Riedel Glass Trophy and a trip to France including a visit to the prestigious Champagne House of Bollinger. The prize includes airfare and accommodation in Champagne.
The three finalists:
Kayetan Meissner, Barry Scholfield, Assistant Sommelier at Rust en Vrede Restaurant in Stellenbosch, and Xolani Mancotywa, previously Sommelier at the Saxon Boutique Hotel in Johannesburg and now Sommelier at Captial Club Dubai, were faced with a rigorous practical assessment.

This year's test:
This year’s task was to pour a magnum of bubbly evenly into 16 glasses and serve these to a table of diners and their guests. Whilst performing this challenging exercise, the candidate had to answer a number of questions from the judges as well as respond appropriately in a few tricky moments.

Kayetan Meissner was The Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award runner-up in 2012 when he was Sommelier at the Saxon Boutique Hotel in Sandhurst, Johannesburg. The Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award runner-up this year is Xolani Mancotywa, who recently took up the position of Sommelier at Capital Club Dubai.

Ginette de Fleuriot, Cape Wine Master, The Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award organiser and one of the judges, is very pleased with the overall results, “As runner-up in 2012, Kayetan was given a taste of what the competition is all about. He clearly took on the challenge to hone his skills so that this year he performed even better and was a clear winner.”

Kayetan graduated with a Hotel School Diploma from Varsity College, a course affiliated to the International Hotel School of Adelaide, Australia. Whilst working as a Sommelier on board the MS Seabourn Sun and the MV Crystal Symphony, he had the wonderful opportunity to visit vineyards across the world including Bordeaux, Tuscany, Napa Valley and the Maipo Valley in Chile. Subsequently he has worked as a Sommelier at the Saxon Boutique Hotel in Johannesburg, Beverage Manager at the Metropolitan Grand in Bur Dubai, and Sommelier at the Sandton Sun.

He is currently the Cellar Master at Bosman’s Restaurant at the Grande Roche Hotel in Paarl and will be undertaking Certification with the Court of Master Sommeliers in November this year. His favourite South African wines come from the Swartland, his choice international wine style is Burgundy and he loves Sparkling Wine and Champagne. His preferred cuisine is classical French and Italian and his interests include food and wine, travel, history and fly-fishing.

The Judges of the 2013 Finals were:

Ginette de Fleuriot: Organiser of The Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award, a Cape Wine Master and Marketing Manager at Vinimark The Wine Company.

Neil Grant: Past Chairman of the South African Sommelier Association (SASA) and Sommelier and co-owner of Burrata Restaurant in the Old Biscuit Mill, Woodstock, Cape Town.

Higgo Jacobs: Sommelier and Consultant and a Senior Judge at the International Wine Challenge (IWC). Higgo also tastes for various local competitions and publications and is General Secretary and a founding member of the South African Sommelier Association (SASA).

Kent Scheermeyer: German-trained Sommelier and founder of KSconsult which services the hospitality industry in wine procurement, wine list design and training.

The South African Sommelier Association (SASA) is fully behind The Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award and some of its members are judges at the Semi-Finals and the Finals. The Association aims to provide training and mentorship to guarantee the continuous development of professional standards of wine service at the highest level.

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