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  • Jancis Robinson
Written by
  • Jancis Robinson
8 Aug 2018

Are you a woman? (I'm delighted to report that we have been receiving more entries in our seminal wine competition from women than we did initially, by the way – as witness today's example from Georgie Fenn.) 

Would you be interested in an internship at a South African winery at the beginning of next year? You have until the end of August to apply for a temporary position that includes flights and all bed and board, as well as considerable hands-on experience. 

Kathy Jordan of Jordan Wine Estate, Stellenbosch, has long been a champion of women's wine education in her native South Africa. In October 2012 she launched a two-fold wine mentoring programme aimed at women working in the wine industry, one for South Africans and the other for international candidates. This has now grown into the PIWOSA Women in Wine Initiative and this year's scholarship winners are seen below, left to right, Marcia Hamm (Canada), Angela Aiello (Canada), Ella Stening (Australia), Naoko Ikeda (Hong Kong), Lara Victoria (Canada), Meghan Knowles (Canada) and Madeline Roemer (Germany).

PIWOSA_interns_2018-2

Applications for the international part of the initiative are now being sought. Women either currently studying for a wine qualification or who are already working in the wine industry outside South Africa and are interested in experiencing a vintage at one of the PIWOSA member wineries are invited to submit an application, as described below.

A number of PIWOSA members will offer successful candidates a chance to be part of the winemaking team at one of the member wineries to actively experience and participate in a vintage, including all aspects of the winemaking process from grape harvesting to all the red and white wine cellar work involved during the harvest period.

Successful candidates will receive:

  • Flights to South Africa and full board and lodging at the winery during the approximately four-week internship
  • The opportunity to visit some of the other wine-growing areas of the Western Cape
  • The opportunity to experience some of the renowned tourist attractions that the Cape has to offer.

Application requirements:

  • Proof of wine qualification: an internationally recognised winemaking degree/diploma or a minimum of WSET Diploma (candidates who are near completion of their Diploma will also be considered)
  • Valid travel documents including relevant visa and international medical insurance
  • The candidates must be available to travel to South Africa at the end of January 2019 and remain there for approximately four weeks.

Candidates should email a short qualifying letter and a brief CV to Christie van der Heijden at info@piwosa.com. Any further queries should be directed to Christie van der Heijden on info@piwosa.com. Applications close on 31 August 2018. You could be enjoying a view like the one above right next February ... while working hard, I am told.

I wondered what happened to the women who have been through the internship programme. Kathy Jordan reports, 'At Jordan we have kept in personal contact with our past candidates (as have some of the other farms) and it is great to see where they are going in the world. One of our first candidates in 2014, Regine Lee, has been incredible. She started the London Women in Wine group which has over 100 members, meeting monthly, and is already well on her way to completing her MW in record time!' Young Shi, my representative in China, did the internship in 2017 and wrote this report on the experience. She has also just finished sitting her MW exams. Seems like a pathway...