Entries are open for the first round of the 2012 Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award, closing on 31 May 2012. This annual competition is aimed at enhancing and recognising the calibre of local sommeliers and wine service staff.
As with the inaugural award in 2011, the winner of this year's competition will be announced at the Swartland Revolution in November 2012 and will win a trip to France including a trip to Bollinger.
Ginette de Fleuriot, marketing manager at Vinimark The Wine Company and organiser of the award, says, "We look forward to an increased number of entrants for 2012 and wider representation from all of South Africa's premier tourist regions.
"This industry-wide initiative was established to advance the interests of all of the country's fine wine producers, as well as those who make their living from the sale of wine in hotels, restaurants and wine bars. The sponsors and organisers trust that this competition will continue to act as a catalyst for the hospitality industry to expand training facilities and support local sommeliers and sommeliers-in-training, in the interests of all those who enjoy dining out."
Neil Grant, Chairperson of the South African Sommelier Association (SASA) and one of the judges of the 2011 Competition, adds, "Wine service has a poor history in South Africa and only with incentives such as these will we find an improvement within the industry. Chefs in South Africa over the past 10 years have proven how good they are and now wine stewards/sommeliers need to be part of this movement so we can challenge the international markets." SASA has committed to mentoring the winning candidate to assist in guaranteeing continued professional wine service of an international standard.
To enter, go to www.wineserviceaward.co.za/registration