Wines of South Africa (WoSA) is excited to announce the final line-up of country winners for the triennial Sommelier Cup competition, which will culminate in an exciting Grand Final to be hosted in Cape Town at The Vineyard Hotel & Spa on the 21st of September 2019.
Following several rigorous semi-final rounds in various countries, a total of 11 finalists from around the world will compete in this prestigious event where one will be crowned as the winner in this competition. They are:
Martien Marcelissen The Netherlands
Maja Hempel Sweden
Samuel Ndichu Kenya
Takura Makadzange Zimbabwe
Adam Knoerzer United States of America
Richelle van Gemert United Kingdom
Andrew Forsyth Canada
Taku Iguro Japan
Derek Li Greater China
Chek Wong Singapore
Maximilian Wilm Germany
For winning their semi-final rounds, each finalist receives an all-expenses paid trip to the Cape Winelands to participate in the overall final from the 19th until the 26th of September. These sommeliers will be hosted in several of the South African wine regions over the period of their stay and be able to attend masterclasses and tastings with regions and varietal organisations and they will have the opportunity to be truly immersed into South African wine, food and hospitality.
The Grand Final event, will be judged by a selection of local and international judges. The international judging panel includes Marc Almert (Germany), who was the overall winner of this competition in 2016, Sören Polonius (Sweden) and Ronan Sayburn (UK). The local judges who are all members of the South African Sommelier Association (SASA), are Joakim Blackadder and Spencer Fondaumiere. This year for the first time there will be the addition of an Associate Judge, Minenhle Mthombeni, who has been nominated by her peers.
On the day of the final, participants will be required to complete a number of elements, including a theory test on South African wine and the industry, in order to pass through to the final service element, where only the top three (3) will then compete for the title in front of an audience of South African wine producers and media.
The winner and runners up, as well as the 11 finalists will be receiving gifts, prizes and experiences from Wines of South Africa, South African wine producers and our generous sponsors.
Be sure to follow Wines of South Africa’s social media channels to keep up to date with events as they unfold by using #CapeSomm.