Valuable experience, decisiveness and an intense love for sparkling wine stand out for Cape Winemakers Guild Protégé, Sydney Mello, as the greatest gifts of his three-year mentorship experience. Sydney, pictured left with Etienne le Riche, one of the founder members of the Cape Winemakers Guild, is one of 24 oenology and viticulture graduates to have come through the ranks of the Cape Winemakers Guild Protégé Programme. The programme helps aspirant winemakers and viticulturists unlock their potential through skills development initiatives which are made possible by the support of major sponsors such as Amorim Cork, which, since 2015, has supported the programme with donations totalling more than R320 000. Sydney graduated from Elsenburg Agricultural College in Stellenbosch, after which he enrolled in the protégé programme. Last year he travelled to France, took part in an international harvest, and spent time in Burgundy and Champagne. Sydney crafted his own MCC in 2017, which will be auctioned at the silent auction during the Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction in September.

Second year Protégé Morgan Steyn, of Riversdale in the South Western Cape, will be crafting his own wine this year. He believes that the Protégé Programme not only helps him to become a good winemaker, but also a good leader. “I see myself working with others to strengthen the wine industry in South Africa,” he says. Morgan is spending his year with Morné Vrey as part of the team at Delaire Graff.

Established in 2006 under the auspices of the Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Development Trust as a flag bearer for transformation of the South African wine industry, the CWG Protégé Programme gives accomplished graduates the rare opportunity of working side by side with members of the Guild. By cultivating, nurturing and empowering promising individuals to become winemakers and viticulturists of excellence, the Protégé Programme plays an active role in the long term health and sustainability of the industry.

For further information on the Cape Winemakers Guild Protégé Programme visit www.capewinemakersguild.com