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09 April 2014
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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 of excellence, the Cape Winemakers Guild Protégé Programme plays an active role in the transformation of the wine industry to ensure its long term health and sustainability.

To date thirteen Protégés have participated in the programme, including Howard Booysen, Praisy Dlamini, Tamsyn Jeftha, Sacha Claassen and Elmarie Botes who have graduated from the programme and are now working within the South African wine industry. The Guild currently has eight Protégés completing the three year internship 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.

Proteges for 2014 (from left to right as pictured above)

Wade Sander, Philani Shongwe, Chandré Petersen, Ricardo Cloete, Rudger van Wyk, Thornton Pillay, Rose Kruger and Heinrich Kulsen.

Objectives of the Protégé Programme

  • To identify young winemakers with potential for excellence through a detailed selection process.
  • To inspire young winemakers to excellence through involvement with Guild functions and other industry events.
  • To offer an opportunity to young winemakers to learn and acquire skills through working for, working alongside and being mentored by Guild winemakers.
  • To encourage young winemakers to reach their full potential in winemaking 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 prepare young winemakers of colour for a career in winemaking through facilitating interactions and networks within the industry.

Selection Criteria

  • Must be enrolled for a BSc. or B. Viticulture & Oenology
  • Must intend to become a winemaker
  • 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

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 *
  • 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
  • A certificate of completion at the end of the 3 years

Duration

The programme comprises of a 3 year paid internship. 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

After the 3 year period, 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.

 

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