CWG bursaries for three aspiring Stellenbosch University students

The Cape Winemakers Guild has awarded study bursaries to three oenology and viticulture students at Stellenbosch University as part of its on-going Protégé Programme to further the development of young aspiring winemakers.

The Cape Winemakers Guild Billy Hofmeyr SETA Bursary Programme pays tribute to the Guild’s founding chairman, Billy Hofmeyr, who convened the first Guild meeting at his home on the farm, Welgemeend, in Paarl on 24 August 1982, over 30 years ago. The bursaries provide students with financial support during their final year of study, after which they can apply to the Guild’s three year Protégé Programme. This year’s bursary recipients are Tsholofelo Segone, who hails from Stellenbosch, Rudger van Wyk of George and Natasha Williams of Saron in the Western Cape. Tsholofelo is passionate about making a positive contribution to the winemaking industry and says it is the science behind the final product that fascinates her about the winemaking process: “I have big dreams of becoming an extraordinary winemaker and would like to experiment with different blends and bring something unique to the industry, both locally and internationally.”

Tsholofelo Segone

Rudger dreams of one day owning his own wine farm and helping students who are not in the financial position to fulfil their dreams: “In South Africa, winemaking is a scarce skill that offers a lot of opportunities. I want to enlighten people from all communities about the wine industry and as a future winemaker encourage the youth to make winemaking their career.”

Rudger Van Wyk

Also with dreams of owning her own wine farm, Natasha says she would like to one day produce and export her own wine. “I strive to be a continuously growing and evolving winemaker. I think it is extremely important to keep the interests of your target market at heart by producing top quality wines especially if you want to make a name for yourself in the industry,” says Natasha who grew up amidst the vineyards of Saron.

Natasha Williams

Once they have graduated, these aspiring winemakers will be able to apply for a 3-year internship with the Cape Winemakers Guild Protégé Programme, which offers them the opportunity to learn from, and work alongside some of the country’s best winemakers who are members of the Guild. This is the 5th year in which the Guild has offered these bursaries. Last year’s bursary holder, Wade Sander, was welcomed on board the Guild’s Protégé Programme in December 2012 and has begun his internship with Etienne le Riche. 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. The Guild’s educational bursaries with the assistance of AGRI-Seta require outstanding marks and an excellent aptitude for winemaking.