Pupils from across the country have been given a sneak peek into the world of winemaking through a partnership between the Cape Winemakers Guild Protégé Programme, Stellenbosch University (SU), Elsenburg College and the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF).
Over the three-day programme, pupils were exposed to wine and grape sciences and encouraged to pursue careers in these fields.
Pupils who have been accepted to study at SU in 2020 and have a keen interest in viticulture and oenology attended the programme, hailing from across the country.
The programme, which ran from Sunday September 22 to Tuesday September 24, offered pupils a tour of the campuses, trips to local wine farms and industry visits. They were also educated on bursary options for further studies.
“Students are not always familiar with the agricultural industry and don’t see it as a viable career field which sometimes deters them from entering the sector.
“The aim of the programme is to change their views on agriculture and broaden their knowledge of the industry,” explains Magda Vorster, Protégé Programme facilitator.
The programme has established itself as the most successful skills development programme in the South African wine industry. Launched in 2007, the programme has enrolled 30 protégés, 20 of whom are now working in the wine industry.
During their three-year internship on the programme, 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.
For more information, visit www.capewinemakersguild.com