The Cape Winemakers Guild Protégé Programme, a mentorship initiative which gives talented graduates the rare opportunity to work side by side with some of the country's finest winemakers, now boasts a total of six protégés after three new candidates were recruited into the programme this year.
The Guild's three new protégés are Heinrich Kulsen and Chandré Petersen, hailing from Paarl in the Western Cape and Philani Shongwe from Ulundi in KwaZulu-Natal.
Heinrich Kulsen who completed his degree in Cellar Technology at Elsenburg last year, joins Ernie Els under the mentorship of Louis Strydom. Thrilled to become a protégé Heinrich said: "It is an absolute privilege to be a part of the most noble wine organisation in the country."
Completing her degree in Viticulture and Oenology also at Elsenburg, Chandré Petersen will be put through her paces under the watchful eye of winemaker Bernhard Veller at Nitida. With dreams of becoming a phenomenal winemaker, Chandré says: "I believe in building a solid practical and theoretical foundation to reach my goals and believe the Protégé programme will allow me to hone my skills and put into practice the theoretical background I have gained so far."
Philani Shongwe, a proud graduate in Viticulture and Oenology from the University of Stellenbosch, shares Heinrich and Chandré's sentiments at being selected as a protégé. "Completing this internship successfully is like gaining a treasure that no one can take away from me," says Philani, interning at Paul Cluver where he will be learning his craft from winemaker Andries Burger.
The Cape Winemakers Guild Protégé Programme was launched in 2006 under the auspices of the Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Trust with the goal of bringing about transformation in the wine industry by cultivating, nurturing and empowering promising individuals to become winemakers of excellence.
Guild members are responsible for mentoring their Protégés for a minimum of six months and providing them with essential hands-on skills and experience.
For more information on the Guild, contact Tel: 021-852 0408 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Students interested in applying for the Protégé Programme can visit the Guild's website at www.capewinemakersguild.com.