The South African Sommelier Association (SASA)

The South African Sommeliers Association (SASA) has established itself as an integral part of the food and wine industry in South Africa. The movement was started in 2010 when a group of the same minded individuals got together in the hope of forming an association to help uplift and promote the service of wine in South Africa. SASA is a non-profit organization and aims to offer its services to local and international Sommeliers, in being the contact and network portal for those local and international. The association aims to provide training and mentorships to guarantee the continuous development of professional standards of the highest level. It will also liaise (or partner) with associations from other countries and will therefore act as an official representative of its professional membership within South Africa.

The WoSA Sommelier Cup 2019 Final is organised in collaboration with Wines of South Africa and a Technical Committee from The South African Sommelier Association (SASA) who assist with the planning and setting up of the written and practical tests.

(SASA) Judges

Image of Barry Scholfield
>> Barry Scholfield

"Spending his formative years growing up amongst wheat and vines in the Swartland area of South Africa, Barry formalised his love of wine through the CWA and WSET in his twenties after working in various high street restaurants, pubs and clubs in South Africa and Europe. A proud SASA level 2 graduate he’s busy wrapping up his WSET L4 Diploma, currently serves as chairman of the board of the South African Sommelier Association and works at Somm, where he oversees the day to day running of the business, trains sommeliers, writes about all things wine, consults for various restaurants and works as a sommelier for a small portfolio of restaurants."

Image of Minnie Minenhle Mthombeni

>> Spencer Fondaumiere

Spencer began his journey in wine when he moved to South Africa in 2013. He is an Association de la Sommellerie Internationale (ASI) certified sommelier, one of less than 500 people to have successfully passed the demanding diploma exam. He is a qualified wine judge and graduated from Michael Fridjohn's wine judging academy in 2016 and has completed WSET level 3. He is a qualified chef, with vast experience in hospitality on both sides of the pass. Currently, he is the National Brand Manager for Warwick Wine Estate and the Vice Chairman of the South African Sommeliers Association. He has extensive experience in judging wine competitions andconsistently serves on several panels.

Image of Minnie Minenhle Mthombeni
>> Minnie (Minenhle) Mthombeni (associate judge)

Minnie (Minenhle) Mthombeni currently works as a sommelier at the deluxe Singita Sabi Sands Lodges. She is a Level 1 certified SASA sommelier and sits on the executive of BLACC Cellar Club. Further qualifications include Cape Wine Academy Sommelier certification and WSET Level 3. Serving that perfect wine to her clientele is what makes Minnie happy along with the opportunity to mentor young and up-and-coming wine stewards and imparting her knowledge and experience to others who are keen to learn. Her motto when teaching others: Respect alcohol!