Stellenbosch – The Cape Winemakers Guild (CWG) has launched 2023 on a high note by welcoming three new members and three new protégés into the fold.
Reenen Borman from Boschkloof Wines, Christo le Riche from Le Riche Wines and Hannes Storm from Storm Wines are entering the guild as members, while Tholakele Tania Bekwayo, Karabelo Masoleng and Lindelwa Panaso Msomi will be joining the Protégé Programme.
In its pursuit of nurturing excellence in the art and science of winemaking, CWG brings together South Africa’s most inspiring, talented and acclaimed winemakers by invitation only. The addition of Borman, Le Riche and Storm brings the current membership total to 41.
The Protégé Programme is the CWG’s contribution to the transformation of South Africa’s wine industry and serves as an opportunity for members to transfer knowledge and skills to the next generation of dynamic young winemakers. Since its inception in 2006, 34 protégés have completed the three-year internship and seven are currently participating in this ongoing programme. Joining their ranks, Bekwayo will be gaining experience at Savage Wines (Duncan Savage), Msomi at Hartenberg (Carl Schultz) and Masoleng at Kanonkop (Abrie Beeslaar).
After completing his studies (B. Agric Oenology and Viticulture) in 2009, Reenen Borman spent a year gaining harvesting experience both locally and abroad before joining the family business at Boschkloof Wines. In 2012, Borman took over winemaking duties on the farm.
“It is a great honour to be invited as a member of the Cape Winemakers Guild,” he says. “Becoming a member of the Cape Winemakers Guild was truly humbling. Membership in the Cape Winemakers Guild not only provides an opportunity to showcase South African wines to a global audience, but also a platform to contribute to the Protégé Programme.”
Along with extensive international winemaking experience and a firm theoretical knowledge, Christo le Riche’s passion for Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon drives Le Riche Wines’ search to better understand its region. He is Le Riche’s director and cellar master, as well as a founding member and current chairman of the Stellenbosch Cabernet Collective.
Says Le Riche: “The Guild and its members have been pivotal in the development of my wine philosophy and skillset, and I have always admired their conduct within our industry. To be acknowledged and accepted into the Guild is a great honour, and I hope I can give back in return.”
Based in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley outside Hermanus, Hannes Storm has 23 years of winemaking experience, with an acute focus on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in cool maritime growing conditions. He has travelled extensively, gaining knowledge of the world’s wine regions in the process. This has, no doubt, played a role in Storm’s proven ability and track record for producing internationally celebrated wines in highly competitive environments.
“I’m delighted to become part of this special group of winemakers/winegrowers,” says Storm. “The prospect of contributing, learning and collaborating with fellow members and followers of the CWG for many vintages to come is very exciting.”
Bekwayo, Masoleng and Msomi were selected from dozens of recent graduates who applied for the Protégé Programme.
This trio of young women brings a diverse range of interests and experience with them – from beauty pageantry to nature conservation and video editing – but share a singular interest in honing their winemaking skills under the guidance of experienced mentors.
“As Vice Chair of the Cape Winemakers Guild, I am so proud to be the contact person for the protégés,” says Samantha O’Keefe. “It is such an honour to have the CWG mentor these young winemakers and to welcome these three new women into the Protégé Programme”.