The Cape Winemakers Guild Protégé Programme

Launched in 2006, the Protégé Programme gives aspirant winemakers the rare opportunity of working side by side with members of the Guild, all masters of their craft, during a three-year internship. 
 
By cultivating, nurturing and empowering promising individuals to become winemakers and viticulturists of excellence, the Cape Winemakers Guild Protégé Programme plays an active role in the transformation of the industry to ensure its long term health and sustainability. 
 
In 2014 the Guild launched its Viticulture Protégé Programme in conjunction with VinPro.  This two and a half year internship gives promising, newly graduated viticulturists hands-on training with regards to the intricacies of cultivation practices to ensure top quality grapes for the production of diverse wine types and styles.
 
 

Protégés for 2017 (from left to right as pictured above)

Clayton Christians, Morgan Steyn, Banele Vakele, Logan Jooste, Kiara Scott, Anne Matthee, Mahalia Kotjane, Sydney Mello, Maryna Huysamen, Heloise Kotze and Gaynor Fredericks

To date twenty one Protégés have participated in the programme, including Praisy Dlamini, Tamsyn Jeftha, Howard Booysen, Sacha Claassen, Elmarie Botes, Thornton Pillay, Heinrich Kulsen, Chandré Petersen, Philani Shongwe, Thornton Pillay, Wade Sander, Ricardo Cloete and Rose Kruger who have graduated from the programme and are now working within the South African wine industry. The Guild currently has seven Oenology Protégés and two Viticulture Protégés participating in the Programme.

 

Billy Hofmeyr Agri Seta Bursary

In addition to the internships, the Protégé Programme also offers Billy Hofmeyr AGRI Seta bursaries to final year Viticulture and Oenology students at Stellenbosch University and Elsenburg Agricultural College.

The aim of offering these bursaries is to identify potential Protégés at an early stage and to assist with the cost of their final year of education.

Students awarded the Protégé Programme Bursaries are obliged to make themselves available for the Protégé Programme selection once graduated. Should they be successfully selected for the Protégé Programme, they must join the Protégé Programme for a period of three years where they will and work at Guild members’ cellars and undergo mentoring and coaching.

Students wishing to apply for the bursaries are selected at a panel interview and only those with outstanding marks and an excellent aptitude for winemaking are chosen.

The Protégé Programme Facilitator will mentor, support, advise and guide the students through their final year of studies and assist them with the Protégé Programme interview process.

Those wanting to apply to become a CWG Protégé or apply for a final year bursary, should contact Protégé Programme Facilitator, Magda Vorster, on protege@capewinemakersguild.com.

 

Objectives of the Protégé Programme     

  • To identify young winemakers and viticulturists with potential for excellence through a detailed selection process.
  • To inspire young winemakers and viticulturists to excellence through involvement with Guild functions and other industry events.
  • To offer an opportunity to young winemakers and viticulturists to learn and acquire skills through working for, working alongside and being mentored by Guild members.
  • To encourage young winemakers and viticulturists to reach their full potential through participating in a personal coaching programme.
  • To expose the young winemakers to a wide range of wineries, wine types, roles in the winery and skills for a winemaker through a paid internship over three years.
  • To expose the young viticulturists to a wide range of wineries, vineyard, soil and terroir types, roles in the vineyards through a paid internship over two and a half years.

Selection Criteria

  • Must be enrolled for a BSc. or B. Viticulture & Oenology
  • Must intend to become a winemaker or viticulturist
  • Must be obtaining an academic aggregate of 60%
  • Must be in third year or fourth year of studies
  • Must have no employment contracts or obligations post graduation
  • Must have an aptitude for winemaking or viticulture

Selection Process

  • Fill in an application form
  • Submit recommendations from academic lecturers & supervisors
  • Sit for a psychometric evaluation
  • Panel interview
  • Possible Appointment

Programme Content                                                                       

During the internship, programme participants receive:

  • Job security for 3 years for the Oenology Protégé Programme or 2 ½ years for Viticulture Protégé Programme
  • Mentoring from the best winemakers
  • Coaching and life skills mentorship
  • Attendance of selected Cape Winemakers Guild functions
  • Industry networking opportunities
  • The opportunity to make their own wine (Oenology Protégés)
  • A certificate of completion at the end of the Programme

Duration

The programme comprises of a 3 year paid internship for the Oenology Protégé Programme and 2 ½ years for the Viticulture Protégé Programme. The first year in the programme is probationary and should the intern not meet the requirements after this initial year, he or she will be released from the programme.

Placement

Each internship placement is of a 1 year duration. All placements are with Guild winemakers.

Graduation

At the end of the Programme, the intern is free to find employment in the industry

Internship will only begin on successful graduation with a degree or diploma in Viticulture and Oenology.