The 2012 winner of The Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award was announced on Friday 9 November at Riebeek Kasteel, as part of the Swartland Revolution, a celebration of fine South African wines and cuisine. Wayve Kolevsohn received the Riedel Glass Trophy and a trip to France with a visit to the House of Bollinger Champagne.
Finalists Wayve Kolevsohn, Kayetan Meissner, Jeff Lopes (Saxon Boutique Hotel) and Greg Mutambe (12 Apostles Hotel and Spa)
Kolevsohn, the 2011 runner-up, was previously employed at The Roundhouse. She begins as sommelier at The Test Kitchen in Cape Town, this month. This year, Kayetan Meissner, a sommelier at the Saxon Boutique Hotel in Johannesburg, took the runner-up award.
Ginette de Fleuriot Cape Wine Master, the award organiser and one of the judges, is very pleased with the overall results. "It is most encouraging that the calibre of the contestants this year was a step up from last year. As more fine dining establishments realise the advantages of employing highly trained sommeliers, the greater relevance the award will have in incentivising young sommeliers to up their game. This year's winner studied and tasted persistently all year, which gave her the confidence to produce the fine performance in the finals that won her the award."
The Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award winner, Wayve Kolevsohn
The award is co-sponsored by Riedel Glassware which has also provided infrastructural support together with Vinimark The Wine Company, importers of Bollinger. The Award has been established to bring focus and recognition of achievement to the growing group of professional wine waiters in South Africa.
The South African Sommelier Association (SASA) is fully behind the award and some of its members were judges at the final.