Four alumni of the Department of Viticulture and Oenology have been included in the Cape Winemakers' Guild Protégé Programme. They are oenologists Victoria Davis from Paarl, Michael Topkin from Simon's Town and Kelsey Shungking from Parklands in Cape Town, as well as viticulturist Lucretia Adams from Delft.
Launched in 2007, the Protégé Programme gives aspirant winemakers the opportunity of working side by side during a three-year internship with members of the Guild who are all masters of their craft.
The programme is funded by the Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Development Trust. According to a press statement by the Guild, it aims to cultivate the next generation of award-winning winemakers, as well as to empower students while promoting transformation within the industry.
Each Protégé is mentored by a different member of the Guild for a period of one year, allowing them to learn the science and art of wine making and gain first-hand experience of the inner workings of the cellar. This knowledge is put into practice when second year Protégés produce their own wines and travel to France to further enhance their winemaking experience.
Victoria will spend her time at De Morgenzon as protégé of Carl van der Merwe. Michael will work alongside Beyers Truter at Beyerskloof, Kelsey with Louis Strydom at Stellenzicht, and Lucretia at De Grendel with Charles Hopkins.
Stellenbosch University alumni Victoria Davis (top left); Michael Topkin (top right), Kelsey Shungking (bottom left) and Lucretia Africa (bottom right), along with Candice Barnes and Roger Cloete who are all part of the Class of 2019 Cape Winemakers' Guild Programme.