Cape winery internships on offer


9 November We have just heard from the organisers of this worthwhile initiative. Christie van der Heijden of PIWOSA reports that 'we had a phenomenal response to our PIWOSA 2017 Harvest Initiative with almost 150 Women in Wine candidates applying from all over the world. I thought I would send you a list of the countries where we received applications from to give you some feedback on your reach: India, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, UK, Brazil, US, Chile, New Zealand, Italy, Argentina, Romania, France, Finland, Portugal, Croatia, Germany, Peru, Sweden,China, Armenia, Mauritius, Zimbabwe, Greece, Colombia, Japan, Hungary, Austria, Bulgaria, Ireland, Russia, Poland, Singapore, Holland, Uruguay, Belgium, Switzerland and Spain. We have selected five candidates, two from the USA and one each from Canada, China and Japan.' Apparently, the successful Chinese applicant is my Chinese representative Young Shi. Congratulations to them all, and I would add that I have been struck by the geographical spread of the 180 applicants to our Wine Writing Competition.

25 August Our Throwback Thursday article today reminds you that the deadline for applications for a free winery internship in South Africa early next year, including flights, bed and board and the chance to see some of the beautiful Cape winelands is looming. The deadline is next Wednesday. See details below.

I was intrigued to see some figures comparing the number of wine tourists and how much they spent on the Cape and in Napa Valley.  According to market research by Destination Analysts of San Francisco, wine tourism revenues for Napa Valley in 2014 were $1.63 billion (spent by 3.3 million tourists), more than four times wine tourism revenues for the entire Western Cape in 2013.

But Stellenbosch has the potential to become as significant as the Napa Valley, according to Clay Gregory of Visit Napa Valley who will speak at The Business of Wine and Food Tourism Conference in Stellenbosch on 1 and 2 November. It certainly has the great wine and scenery, but doesn't have a massive economic boom on its doorstep of course. 

20 July Fancy an internship at a South African winery next February? You have until the end of next month to apply for a temporary position that includes flights and all bed and board, as well as considerable hands-on experience. Oh, and you have to be female. 

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.

Applications for the international part of the initiative are now open. Women outside South Africa, either currently studying for a wine qualification or already working in the wine industry, who 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, probably four or five, 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 2017 and remain there for approximately four weeks.

Candidates should email a short qualifying letter and a brief CV to Christie van der Heijden at Any further queries should be directed to Christie van der Heijden on Applications close on 31 August 2016.

The local South African programme focuses on offering wine education to South African women in wine. Our picture, of women who have successfully completed WSET Level 1, shows (left to right) Phelisa Stuurman of Woolworths SA, Olga Ndongeni of Wine Concepts, Thembeka Njena of The Vineyard hotel, Judith Gwaze of Burrata restaurant, Primrose Muzanenhamo of Majeka House & Spa, Puleng Makhogoana of Balthazar restaurant, Kelly Ballakistan of Wine Concepts and Sophie Mtata of Ken Forrester Vineyards. An impressive three of these students achieved perfect scores.