Moët & Chandon Best Young Sommelier 2019

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Moët & Chandon Best Young Sommelier 2019 brought to you by SASA.

Dedicated to the discipline, art and love of fine beverages, the South African Sommelier Association (SASA) aims, with this exciting new competition, to support and empower the next generation of professional sommeliers who share the joy and energy of providing excellent service and serving top class wine and spirits.

SEMI-FINAL and FINALS will take place Wednesday 25th September at The Vineyard Hotel 14:00- 16:30.

Follow along on Facebook, Instagram or email us at for a chance to be part of the action!

Stand a chance to win tickets to watch the competition unfold LIVE on the 25th.

The Semi-finalists in Moët & Chandon Best Young Sommelier 2019 competition.

LeRoi Van de Vyver – Belthazar Restaurant & Wine Bar

Jamie-Leigh Rodgers – JÉAN Restaurant

Tayla Kirschner – Sommeliers Academy

Garreth Lubbe – Kraakvars

James Mukosi – Rust en Vrede Wine Estate Restaurant

Shane Mumba – Waterkloof Wines Restaurant

Laurie Cooper – Abingdon Wine Estate

Thapiwa K Jahm – Ivory Manor Boutique Hotel

Tumelo Andrew Moreo – Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa

Katlego Mathobela – Saint

Moët & Chandon Best Young Sommelier 2019 Judges

Lloyd Jusa– Head Sommelier and Director of The Saxon Collection Wine Programme.

Wikus Human– Sommelier at Marble Restaurant and winner of the 2017 Moët & Chandon Best Young Sommelier Competition.

Barry Scholfield– President of The South African Sommelier Association and partner in Somm Hospitality Enterprises.

Cathy Marston– Master of Wine Student, owner of the International Wine Education Centre and provider of WSET education in Southern Africa.

Joakim Blackadder Immenkamp – Winner of the Gaggenau Sommelier Awards 2018 and partner in Somm Hospitality Enterprises.

Germaine Esau – Chef de Cuisine for Myoga Restaurant at The Vineyard Hotel.

During the course of the morning, these experts will judge the contestants ability to taste and identify spirits, test their theoretical knowledge and give them a standard service task, such as decanting service or sparkling wine service.

Only 3 contestants will be selected for the finals which will take place that same afternoon.

Celebrating the winners in a true #moëtmoment

At the end of the challenging final day of the competition, a winner, 1st runner up and 2nd runner up will be announced and we’ll toast them in a true #moëtmoment of celebration.

What will the winner receive?

An all expenses paid trip to France to visit Moët & Chandon Maison in Champagne followed by a week long visit to Barolo in Italy during July 2020, as one of less than 100 selected and invited sommeliers and wine experts from around the world that participates in the inaugural Collisioni with Ian D’Agata. The trip to Italy includes accommodation, meals, winery visits and seminars. The winner also receives a bursary for WSET education from the IWEC and an opportunity to compete in the Moët & Chandon Best Sommelier South Africa challenge in 2020. And, of course, a magnum of Moët & Chandon to celebrate with!


What do the contestants need to know?

You’ll need good overall wine knowledge of South African and international wines in terms of region, viticulture and vinification, as well as basic knowledge of beers, ciders, spirits, water, coffee and tea. There will be questions on wine styles, regions of origin and terminology, wine label information, wine regulations, wine storage and you’ll be tested on social skills as well as your ability to interact with the patron.

Who is qualified to participate?

You don’t need to have formal training or hold a sommelier qualification to join but must be employed in the service of food and wine at the time of entry. You must be an active SASA member or sign up on our website, before entry. You can be of any nationality but must be resident and employed in South Africa to participate.

Entry Requirements:

  • Candidates must be a minimum of 18 years of age and under the age of 30 by the date of the final.
  • Candidates must be an active SASA member or sign up before entry.
  • Candidates may be of any nationality but must be resident and employed in South Africa. 
  • Candidates must be employed in the service of food and wine at the time of entry.
  • Candidates are not required to have any formal training or sommelier qualification.
  • Previous winners are excluded from entering again.

How does it work?

  • Round 1 – Potential contestants put their knowledge to the test with short multiple choice and essay questions through an online survey. 
  • Round 2 – Quarter finals were held in three major cities within South Africa, namely Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban during the period of 19-23 August 2019.

Coming up!

  • Round 3 – Semi finals will be held at The Vineyard Hotel in Cape Town for the top 10 highest scoring candidates from the quarter finals, of which the three best performing contestants will proceed to the final.
  • Round 4 – Finals will be held on the same day and at the same venue as the semi-finals, with invitations sent out to the press, trade and public to join as spectators. The semi-final and final is held on Wednesday 25 September 2019.


  • Semi Final and Finals – Wednesday 25 September, Semi-final & Final at The Vineyard Hotel (Cape Town)

Terms and conditions

* Travel to and from the competition venues is the responsibility of the entrants