The Cape Wine Master qualification was first instituted in 1984 and the first three CWM’s were Duimpie Bayly, Bennie Howard and the late Tony Mossop. Today there are 88 Cape Wine Masters and 3 Honorary Members.
At the graduation ceremony today, 6 new Cape Wine Masters were introduced: Debi van Flymen, Conrad Louw, Sandy Harper, Francois Bezuidenhout, Marius Malan and Mina-Marie Bruwer. Congratulations on your wonderful achievement!
For the third year, we have sponsored the award for the new Cape Wine Master who performed best in the Viticulture category and this year, the award went to Sandy Harper (seen on the picture with me). Congratulations Sandy!
But what is a Cape Wine Master and why are they important to the wine industry?
The Cape Wine Master is the highest formal qualification in the South African Wine Industry. CWMs belong to the Institute of Cape Wine Masters (ICWM). The ICWM is an active group of knowledgeable people who are formally qualified, objective and passionate about local and international wine matters.
The Institute runs tastings and other wine events, provides membership services to the members of the ICWMs world-wide, and supplies information and access to specialist advice for the wine industry in general.
To become a Cape Wine Master, students need to have successfully completed the four-module Diploma Wine Course at the Cape Wine Academy, with an average pass mark of 65%. Only then can you apply to study toward the qualification of Wine Master.
The qualification entails a self-study course without formal lectures or tastings. A mentor provides guidance and support and most candidates join a study and tasting group for support.
In order to achieve the Cape Wine Master qualification, students have to successfully complete the following:
- Four tasting exams of international and South African wines
— Natural wines, sparkling wines, dessert and fortified wines, and brandy
- Four theory exams
— Viticulture, viniculture, distilled and other products, and general knowledge
- A thesis on a topic that has been approved by the examining committee
- Present a formal tasting to an examining panel.
Although candidates for the Cape Wine Master qualification do not have to be involved in the wine industry or with wine education, it is imperative that they are passionate about wine. Because of their commitment to the enjoyment and knowledge of wine, graduates often become involved in lecturing at the Cape Wine Academy or hosting wine tastings in their community.
The Master’s of Wine qualification has to be completed within 5 years.
On the featured image:
With Sandy Harper, the new Cape Wine Master awarded with the Viticulture Award.