Entries now open for 2013 Competition


Entries for First Round of The Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award 2013 are now open and candidates are urged to enter soon as entries close on the 31 May 2013. See below for entry details.


The high standards attained by previous winners, Wayve Kolevsohn in 2012 (Sommelier at The Roundhouse at the time and currently Sommelier at The Test Kitchen) and Joakim Hansi Blackadder in 2011 (Sommelier at The Roundhouse at the time and now at Rust en Vrede), have set the benchmark for aspirant sommeliers. As with the 2011 and 2012 competitions, the winner of the 2013 competition will be announced in November 2013 and will win a trip to France including a trip to the prestigious House of Champagne Bollinger. Wayve Kolevsohn is presently in Champagne enjoying her prize and celebrating her victory, no doubt with a glass or two of Champagne Bollinger.


The 2012 Awards runner-up, Kayetan Meissner, a Sommelier at the Saxon Boutique Hotel in Johannesburg, won aone night stay for two, including bed and breakfast, at Ellerman House, which overlooks the Atlantic Ocean.


This annual competition, which is aimed at enhancing and recognising the calibre of local sommeliers and wine service staff, was launched in 2011 and proved to be a resounding success.


Ginette de Fleuriot, Marketing Manager at Vinimark The Wine Company and organiser of The Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award anticipates more entries this year, “We look forward to an increased number of entrants for The Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award 2013 and to wider representation from all of South Africa’s premier tourist regions.”


Champagne Bollinger is proud to be the main sponsor of the prestigious The Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award. The competition is a joint initiative between Vinimark The Wine Company (importer of Champagne Bollinger and South Africa’s largest independent specialist wine wholesaling company) and The Reciprocal Wine Trading Company, importers and distributors of Riedel Glassware.


Ginette de Fleuriot comments further, “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), states: “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 candidates to further assist in guaranteeing continued professional wine service of an international standard.


The competition entry criteria are:


  • ·     Those currently employed in the service of food and wine and with a history of a minimum of three years of such service.
  • ·     Contestants are required to have substantial knowledge of the local wine scene and of the professional service of both food and wine.
  • ·     An adequate knowledge of international wine appellations and styles of wine is also a prerequisite.
  • ·     More importantly, however, the contest examines the ability of those selling wine in the hospitality industry to relate what is produced in South Africa to the expectations of international visitors more familiar with the major wine producing regions of the world.


Competition dateline


First Round: Registration Forms and the completed Question Paper are to be submitted no later than 31 May 2013.


Second Round: The Second Round will take place in August 2013 at venues to be announced.


Final Round: Finalists will compete in Cape Town in October 2013 at a venue to be announced.


Competition winner announcement: The winner of The Bollinger Wine Service of Excellence Award will be announced in November 2013.




Judges at all rounds of the competition will include internationally trained sommeliers; Cape Wine Masters; and members of the hospitality trade.


To enter The Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award


Go to:


For more information contact:

Ginette de Fleuriot

Vinimark Head Office


Tel: 021 – 886 9165




Michael Crossley

Reciprocal Wines & Riedel Glassware


Tel: 011 – 482 9178


For further details on this year’s contest, go to


May 2013



Issued for  The Bollinger Exceptional Wine  Service Award by: The Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award
  Posy & Jeremy Hazell • PR & Wine  Consultants Contact: Ginette de Fleuriot
  Tel 021 851 1563 • Cell  082 557 2968 Tel  021 886 9165 • Cell 074 100 9865
  E-mail E-mail




The Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service 2012 Awards


2012 Winner:

  • ·     Wayve Kolevsohn:Previously employed at The Roundhouse in Camps Bay and currently the Sommelier at The Test Kitchen, Cape Town;


2012 Runner-up:

  • ·      Kayetan Meissner: A Sommelier at the Saxon Boutique Hotel in Sandhurst, Johannesburg.


2012 Judges:

  • ·      Mia Martensson, Sommelier and Sales Manager for The Winery Of Good Hope
  • Kent Scheermeyer, Sommelier and founder of     KSconsult
  • Neil Grant, Sommelier and co-owner of Burrata     Restaurant, Cape Town
  • Ginette de Fleuriot, Cape Wine Master &     Marketing Manager for Vinimark The Wine Company
  • Higgo Jacobs, Sommelier and consultant

The finalists will be judged on wine and food service and will be tested on the following:


•     wine styles and terminology

•     wine label information

•     wine regulations

•     regions of origin

•     major international wine regions and their wines

•     identifying wines in a blind tasting

•     service techniques

•     food and wine pairing

•     wine storage

•     social skills and ability to interact with the patron


Background on The Bollinger Wine Service Award


One of the impediments to publicising the achievements of South African wine has been the absence of a class of wine waiters able to communicate the finer points of our wines and place them in an international context.


The past few years have seen important changes which have come some of the way in addressing this gap. These include the involvement of the Cape Wine Academy in creating a qualification for wine service professionals, and the investments in waiter training driven by WOSA (Wines of South Africa) under the Fundi programme ahead of the FIFA World Cup 2010. The increasing number of internationally trained sommeliers living and working in South Africa is also no doubt contributing to a raised level of awareness around issues of wine service.


An annual competition – aimed at encouraging those who seek to make a living from wine service – is clearly part of the next stage. Sponsored by Champagne Bollinger and with infrastructural support from Riedel Glassware, The Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award has been established to bring focus – and recognition of achievement – to the growing group of professional wine waiters in South Africa.


The recently formed South African Sommelier Association (SASA) is fully behind The Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award and some of its members will be judges at the competition. The association aims to provide training and mentorship to guarantee the continuous development of professional standards of wine service at the highest level.

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