Stellenbosch Wine Routes backs ZIM & SA sommelier champions

SA’s first wine route headlines at inaugural Ubuntu Sommelier Trophy

Stellenbosch Wine Routes has re-affirmed the essential role of sommeliers by becoming the first headline sponsor for the inaugural Ubuntu Sommelier Trophy on 7 December.

“The sommelier is at the intersect of the restaurant and wine industries. As wine ambassadors, their ability to share the story of South African and especially Stellenbosch wine is crucial to growth,” says Stellenbosch Wine Routes general manager Elmarie Rabe.

“Furthermore, the hosting of the inaugural competition in Stellenbosch is especially significant. It takes place on the eve of the Stellenbosch Wine Routes organisation’s 50th anniversary in 2021; and, presents the opportunity to showcase our region’s reputation as South Africa’s premier gastronomic destination.”

Stellenbosch Wine Routes is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the Western Cape. With the route’s establishment in 1971, Stellenbosch became the first region in South Africa to establish an organised, visitor-friendly network of wineries.

The inaugural Stellenbosch Wine Routes Ubuntu Sommelier Trophy has been established as a derby between Sommeliers of Zimbabwe (SAZ) and South African Sommeliers (SASA) – which works to improve and promote hospitality wine service through training, mentorship and interaction with international sommelier networks.

The event will see a SASA team pitted against the Sommeliers of Zimbabwe, a powerhouse that in recent years has beaten teams from some of the world’s top wine countries. The Zimbabwe team comprises Job Jovo, head sommelier at Durban’s luxury five-star hotel, The Oyster Box; Tawanda Marume, group sommelier at Expression Wines Africa; and, Joseph Tongai Dhafana, head sommelier at La Colombe restaurant.

Representing SASA at the Stellenbosch Wine Routes Ubuntu Sommelier Trophy will be Laurie Cooper, winner of the 2019 Moët & Chandon Best Young Sommelier; Tayla Kirschner of the Sommeliers Academy; and, Le Roi van de Vyver of Saxenburg Wine Estate.

The competition is open to the public and takes place at venue sponsor, Lanzerac Wine Estate.

For more information, email or call 021 886 4310. Learn more about Stellenbosch’s reputation for food, wine, history and culture at or

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