Semi-Final Winners 2019

The Netherlands

>> Martien Marcelissen

Meet Martien Marcelissen. Young, enthusiastic sommelier residing in Eindhoven, The Netherlands and winner of the Wines of South Africa Sommelier Cup country round in Amsterdam.  Since completing his Bachelor’s degree in Hotel Management in Maastricht in 2012, he has gained experience in Austria, Germany and The Netherlands in key restaurants such as Becker’s Hotel & Restaurant in Trier (**Michelin star) and Restaurant Tout à Fait (*Michelin stars).  Martien is interested in culture and nature and this unique combination in the Cape Winelands makes it one of the ultimate travel destinations on his bucket list.


>> Maja Hempel
       Restaurant Thörnströms Kök

Maja studied to be an International Sommelier at The Restaurant Academy in Stockholm from 2012-2013. She is currently working as Restaurant Manager/Sommelier at the famous Thörnströms Kök in Gothenburg. The restaurant was awarded "Best restaurant team" in Sweden 2016 and Maja herself has been a runner up for the title STELLA Waitress 2019. She also been nominated twice for the title Best Sommelier of the year by the trade magazine Livets Goda. The Wosa Sommelier Cup was her first competition and by winning the Swedish country round she will take her first steps into being recognised as an International known sommelier. Maja has a very ambitious personality and is now studying the WSET Diploma in London. 


>> sAMuel NDICHU
       independent wine consultant

Kenya’s newly crowned sommelier champion Sam Ndichu is well known in the wine circles from his expansive experience working with specialized wine merchants Domaine Kenya,  The Wine Gallery and Urban Wine Shop in the capital’s central business district. He is now an independent wine consultant undertaking projects. Predictably his drink of choice is wine, but a little known fact is that Sam’s chosen mode of transportation is a motorbike, which he used to ride to and from the competition! Riding a motorcycle is a full sensory experience just like drinking wine. 
Sam took up the challenge for the sommelier world cup to test himself against his peers and get the experience of international competitions. The platform attracted the best in Kenya including my former boss, clients and current suppliers. Definitely not a walk in the park! I look forward to flying the Kenyan flag high!


>> Takura Makadzange

Takura is an Australian trained sommelier and chef, having started his hospitality career in the year 2000, Takura has worked in almost every role from kitchen porter to executive chef owner of his own restaurant. Takura also has qualifications as a barista and Hotel manager. From a culinary side, Takura's main passions lie in Italian food as well as modern desserts. Food and wine education is the major thrust of Takura's current role in managing his family resort in Bvumba. Takura relishes the opportunity to share all of his experience and insights on food and beverage with the Zimbabwean public.