2019: Wines of South Africa Sommelier Cup 2019 Finalists Announced

Wines of South Africa (WoSA) is excited to announce the final line-up of country winners for the triennial Sommelier Cup competition, which will culminate in an exciting Grand Final to be hosted in Cape Town at The Vineyard Hotel & Spa on the 21st of September 2019.

Following several rigorous semi-final rounds in various countries, a total of 11 finalists from around the world will compete in this prestigious event where one will be crowned as the winner in this competition. They are:


Martien Marcelissen

The Netherlands

Maja Hempel


Samuel Ndichu


Takura Makadzange


Adam Knoerzer

United States of America

Richelle van Gemert

United Kingdom

Andrew Forsyth


Taku Iguro


Derek Li

Greater China

Chek Wong


Maximilian Wilm


For winning their semi-final rounds, each finalist receives an all-expenses paid trip to the Cape Winelands to participate in the overall final from the 19th until the 26th of September. These sommeliers will be hosted in several of the South African wine regions over the period of their stay and be able to attend masterclasses and tastings with regions and varietal organisations and they will have the opportunity to be truly immersed into South African wine, food and hospitality.

The Grand Final event, will be judged by a selection of local and international judges. The international judging panel includes Marc Almert (Germany), who was the overall winner of this competition in 2016, Sören Polonius (Sweden) and Ronan Sayburn (UK). The local judges who are all members of the South African Sommelier Association (SASA), are Joakim Blackadder and Spencer Fondaumiere. This year for the first time there will be the addition of an Associate Judge, Minenhle Mthombeni, who has been nominated by her peers.

On the day of the final, participants will be required to complete a number of elements, including a theory test on South African wine and the industry, in order to pass through to the final service element, where only the top three (3) will then compete for the title in front of an audience of South African wine producers and media.

The winner and runners up, as well as the 11 finalists will be receiving gifts, prizes and experiences from Wines of South Africa, South African wine producers and our generous sponsors.


Be sure to follow Wines of South Africa’s social media channels to keep up to date with events as they unfold by using #CapeSomm.



Twitter:            @wosa_za

Instagram:       @wosa_za


For more information, please contact:

Maryna Calow, WoSA Communications Manager, on or 021-883 3860.


WINES OF SOUTH AFRICA (WoSA) is a not for profit organization which promotes the export of all South African wine in key international markets. Apart from the head office in Stellenbosch, South Africa, WoSA also has offices in Johannesburg, England, Canada, USA, Sweden, China, The Netherlands and Germany.