SA Women in Wine applicants sought


Applications close a week today, 23 October, for women either currently studying towards a wine qualification or already working in the wine industry outside South Africa to experience all aspects of the 2016 vintage at a top South African winery with all board and lodging paid for. 

The Premium Independent Wineries of South Africa (PIWOSA) Women in Wine Initiative has grown out of the October 2012 launch by Kathy Jordan of Jordan Wine Estate, Stellenbosch, of a twofold wine-mentoring programme aimed at women working in the wine industry, one for South Africans and the other for international candidates. Thanks to the involvement of all PIWOSA members, this very successful initiative has now grown and is able to reach out to more women.

This relatively early deadline is imposed so as to give the wineries a week or two to go through all the applications and interview possible candidates who will then be able to start booking flights in November for harvest at the end of January 2016. The successful candidates, probably four or five depending on individual wineries' needs and application details, are expected to be part of the winery’s production team for up to six weeks, while visiting several wine regions and taking advantage of what the Cape has to offer tourists.

In the picture above are this year’s four international candidates at the Constantia Fresh wine festival. Left to right are PIWOSA Women in Wine Initiative organiser Elizma Myburgh; Rebecca Goodall (Hawksmoor restaurant, London, UK); Simona Andries (MSc in Oenology – flying winemaker from Romania); Ksenia Findlay (WSET Dip – Alexander Wines, Glasgow, Scotland); and Lauren Mowery (WSET Dip/MW student – journalist/wine blogger, New York, USA).

Elizma tells me about the local wine students: ‘You will be proud to hear that most of our domestic candidates whom you met in January have successfully completed WSET Level 2. We are planning on starting a new group of Level 1 candidates next year. From the group in the picture below, two are currently busy with Level 3 and three of them will start Level 3 next year.’

Below are the nuts and bolts of the deal for international candidates.

What PIWOSA members will offer

The successful candidates will have the opportunity to be part of the winemaking team at one of our member wineries, to actively experience and participate in a vintage including all aspects of the winemaking process from grape harvesting to all red and white wine cellar work that occurs during the harvest period.

What successful candidates will receive

Full board and lodging at the winery during the roughly six-week internship

The opportunity to visit some of the other wine-growing areas of the Western Cape

The opportunity to experience the beauty of the Western Cape and 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, correct visa and international medical insurance cover

Be available to travel to South Africa at the end of January 2016 for between four and weeks for the 2016 vintage.

To apply

Email a short qualifying letter and a brief CV to Thea van der Merwe at, who will also respond to any further queries.