Bollinger exceptional wine service award 2014: seven go through to the semi-finals

Seven sommeliers will be fighting it out for a ticket to the grand final.

04 Jul 2014
Wine awards

A wide range of enthusiastic applicants entered the First-Round of The Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award 2014. All applicants completed an ‘open book’ test, from which the top seven have progressed to the Semi-Finals. First-Round candidates were assessed on the basis of their completed Questionnaire (theoretical component) for which the minimum pass was 65%, as well as on the basis of their experience in wine service in fine dining establishments.

As in the previous Semi-Finals, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape, the three provinces with the highest concentration of fine dining restaurants, are represented, with a record three Semi-Finalists all hailing from one fine dining establishment. And this year, for the first time, Mpumalanga has entered the challenge.

The Seven 2014 Semi-Finalists are:

Gareth Ferreira (Saxon Boutique Hotel, Johannesburg)

KwaZulu Natal
Angie Langlands (The Oyster Box Hotel, Umhlanga Rocks)
Juliet Urquhart (The Oyster Box Hotel, Umhlanga Rocks)
Tinashe Nyamudoka (The Oyster Box Hotel, Umhlanga Rocks)

Jennifer Holmes (Singita Sabi Sand)

Western Cape  
Cashias Gumbo (La Colombe Restaurant, Constantia)
Rylan Gentles (Delaire Graff Estate, Stellenbosch)

The Semi-Finals

The Semi-Finals will take place on 18th August 2014 at Catharina’s Restaurant at Steenberg Estate in Constantia. In addition to a rigorous test of wine theory, the practical component of the competition will test the Semi-Finalists’ knowledge of wine styles and tasting ability in the form of a blind tasting, assess their competence in making food and wine pairing recommendations as well as their ability to perform tasks of professional wine service.

The Finals

The 2014 Finalists will compete in Cape Town in October this year, being judged on wine and food service and tested on the following:

•    wine styles and terminology
•    wine label information
•    wine regulations
•    regions of origin
•    major international wine regions and their wines
•    identifying wines in a blind tasting
•    service techniques
•    food and wine pairing
•    wine storage
•    social skills and ability to interact with the patron

The 2014 Winner

This year’s winner will be announced at an exclusive Champagne event in October 2014, winning the Riedel Glass Trophy and a trip to France including a visit to the prestigious House of Champagne Bollinger.

Judges at all rounds of the competition include internationally trained sommeliers, Cape Wine Masters and members of the hospitality trade.

The South African Sommelier Association is fully behind The Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award and some of its members will again be judges at the Semi-Finals and the Finals.

For further details, visit the official website:


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