Congratulations to Marietjie Brown for passing the Bourgogne Master Level exam with highest honors!
I was born and raised in the majestic Constantia Valley in South Africa, and must have been subliminally influenced by the vine. My passion for wine really started as a young student at Stellenbosch University. The Cape Wine Academy was just launched (early 1980’s), and a group of us were recruited to do the first Certificate Course. The wine-bug well and truly bit me, and a long journey of wine-education ensued. After University, I moved to Johannesburg for my first job, and a friend from work convinced me to do the two-year Diploma level exams through the CWA “just for fun”. She dropped out, and I continued my wine studies and qualified as a Cape Wine Master through CWSET in 1999 (4--year diploma course). One could say it was a hobby that got out of hand! At this stage I was married with two children, and decided to leave the frantic world of Advertising and start my own company, About Wine International – specializing in Private Cellar Management, Wine List compilation (Restaurants and Safari Lodges) and Corporate and Private wine tasting events (I also imported a little bit of champagne on the side). About Wine International launched the Annual Champagne Festival, which is still a major calendar event in South Africa. We moved to Australia in 2002 and I have recently re-launched About Wine International in Australia, importing Arché Stemware ( the ultimate wine glasses!) and presenting intimate wine tastings and masterclasses.
In Australia, I attended two Advanced Wine Judging Courses at Roseworthy Wine College in Adelaide, South Australia. To keep my knowledge up -to- date, I plan to do the Champagne Master Level Study Program next, then I will probably tackle Sherry. I have an insatiable desire to learn, and I will continue to do so through travel, tasting and study.
The Bourgogne Master level program gave me much greater insight into the region I so passionately love. I thoroughly enjoyed all the lectures, and as a self-confessed soil-geek, I loved the geology sessions. In-depth knowledge is a powerful tool, and it does inspire respect, as well as credibility. Most importantly, knowledge allows me to appreciate, understand and enjoy wine more.