Five new graduates were awarded Diplomas as Cape Wine Masters, marking the 25th anniversary since the first South African CWMs qualified, at a graduation ceremony hosted by KWV in its Cathedral Cellar in Paarl, on Friday 8 May 2009. This brings the number of successful examinations to 71, and the Institute membership to 64 (including three honorary members).
They are Rolene Bauer, Mary-Lyn Foxcroft and Danielle le Roux, as well as a wine-loving couple in the medical field, Duane Blaauw and Eftyhia Vardas.
Their dissertations covered diverse topics, ranging from consumer-oriented ones - such as increasing the market for wine among emerging South African consumers and the rise and fall of Sémillon - to the more technical, including the effect of wine chemicals on the consumer's dental health, Fourier transforming infrared spectroscopy in grape and wine analysis, and micro oxygenation in contemporary winemaking.
The theses are available for perusal on the Cape Wine Academy website
and at the SAWIS library.
The new Masters
- Rolene Bauer is a natural scientist, working at the Institute for Plant Biotechnology in the Genetics Department of the University of Stellenbosch, where she also serves on expert wine-tasting panels in the Food Science department and the Institute for Wine Biotechnology.
Bauer is the Associate Editor of the SA Journal for Enology and Viticulture (SAJEV), serves as peer reviewer for the SAJEV and American Journal of Enology and Viticulture, and has often published in peer-reviewed scientific journals and presented her work at national and international conferences.
Dissertation: Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy in grape and wine analysis
- Mary-Lyn Foxcroft is a director of a financial services firm called Blue Platinum Consulting in Johannesburg. She is a member of a number of tasting clubs in Johannesburg including Wild Yeasts, Cellar Rats and a girls-only Bubbly Club.
Through the establishment of a business called Cellar Hands, Foxcroft assists clients and friends with the selection of wine for their private or corporate cellars and functions. Her areas of special interest include sparkling wine, Chardonnay and Chateauneuf du Pape.
Dissertation: Growing the consumption of wine amongst the emerging market in South Africa.
- Danielle le Roux, who attained a B. Sc degree in agriculture in viticulture and oenology from the University of Stellenbosch, is currently the winemaker for Baarsma SA, making Lyngrove wines (the flagship blend).
She is a qualified SA Wine & Spirit Board taster and, with two Pinotage judging qualifications under her belt, is also a taster for the Young Wine Show and Veritas Awards. She has three tasting groups on the side, makes a garage wine with some friends, loves experiencing and tasting other countries' wines - and visiting them on harvest stints, whenever there is cash to spare.
Dissertation: The influence of wine chemicals on the consumer's (dental) health.
- Dr Eftyhia Vardas is a qualified medical doctor and specialist clinical virologist. She currently leads a wholly grant-funded research group focused on HIV prevention within the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of the Witwatersrand.
Her interest in wine started as light relief from her gruelling internship year in East London.
While attending the CWA Wine Seminar in the Cape during 2004, Vardas forged new friendships which provided the impetus for the formation of a Johannesburg-based wine group, known as the ‘Wild Yeasts'. This group of like-minded friends from various walks of life persuaded one another to register for the CWM course in 2006.
She has assisted in editing and updating the Diploma notes for the CWA and has also lectured for the Diploma and Wines of the World courses.
Apart from spending as much time as possible in the South African winelands, she has been able to combine her professional travels with visiting vineyards and tasting wine all over the world.
Dissertation: The rise and fall of Sémillon in South Africa.
- Dr Duane Blaauw currently works as a medical doctor, public health specialist and health systems researcher at the University of the Witwatersrand.
Blaauw followed the typical wine hobbyist evolution from uninformed quaffer to interested amateur and then obsessive expert, with a particular scientific orientation. With his degree in biochemistry, he is drawn to the more technical aspects of oenology.
Blaauw is a member of a number of regular wine tasting groups (including the South African Society of Wine Tasters and Wild Yeasts). He has travelled to most of the important wine regions in the World and attended a number of international wine conferences. He has also done the occasional lecture for the CWA.
He lives in Johannesburg with his partner Eftyhia Vardas, and together they fantasise about planting some vines and eventually making wine on their newly purchased Cape property.
Dissertation: Micro oxygenation in contemporary winemaking.
25 years of CWM
In 2003 the Cape Wine and Spirit Education Trust granted the Cape Wine Academy the right to award the Cape Wine Master (CWM) qualification and confer the Cape Wine Master's title, in collaboration with the Institute of Cape Wine Masters. The qualification was first instituted in 1984 and the first three CWMs were Duimpie Bayly, Bennie Howard and the late Tony Mossop.
Over the last 25 years 174 candidates have enrolled, of which 71 have qualified and 12 are at present studying to become CWMs.
The Van Ryn Brandy Award for achieving distinction in the brandy theory and tasting examinations was awarded to Duane Blaauw.
The Institute of Cape Wine Masters also presented their Wine Personality of the Year Award to Charles Back of Fairview in recognition of his success on the local and export markets and his passionate role in the industry.