final competition

Saturday, 21 September 2019

The vineyard hotel, newlands, Cape Town, South Africa


The Grand Final is organised in collaboration with the South African Sommelier Association (SASA) who have established themselves as an integral part of the food and wine service industry in South Africa. The movement was started in 2010 when a group of likeminded 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 definitive contact and network portal for both local and international sommeliers and businesses. The association aims to provide training and mentorships which, in turn, guarantee the continuous development of professional service 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 final is put together by a Technical Committee from SASA, who will assist Wines of South Africa with the planning and setting up of the written and practical tests.

The 11 finalists will compete against each other in a morning session, which covers the following areas:

  • Viticulture and winemaking
  • Wines from South Africa
  • Viti-vinicultural history and geography
  • Professional sommelier service skills
  • General knowledge of South African wine and wine industry
  • Blind tasting of wines
  • Serving a sparkling wine
  • Serving a still wine
  • Pairing food and wines

There will be a shortlist of three candidates drawn from the results of the morning session. The final three candidates will participate in the final practical service element of the competition in front of an audience. 

The finalists, in their work uniform, perform as a sommelier of a restaurant. They need to accomplish specific tasks such as matching food and wines, decanting and serving wine. These tests are directly connected to their daily work and will allow the judges to fairly select the best candidate to be crowned the Wines of South Africa Sommelier 2019 winner.