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Oenology training and knowledge transfer to wine producers and private cellars

Project Number
Vinofino 01 2015

Project title
Enology Training and Knowledge Transfer to Wine Producers and Private Cellars

Project leader
Basson, S E


Team members
Theron, C
Kubheka, N

Project description
The Winetech study groups make a considerable contribution in the transfer of knowledge to cellar assistants in the South African wine industry. The Winetech study groups are endorsed by wine industry organisations, such as Shiraz SA, Cape Winemakers Guild and Cape Vintners Classification (CVC).

The project aims to address development; to transfer knowledge and to increase productivity, in a practical and holistic manner. There is a serious need for the development of practical, general knowledge of cellar assistants, which should add value to careers.

The Winetech study groups and SA Cellar worker Programme had an integrated approach to ensure improved service delivery and transfer of knowledge to the largest group of cellar assistants possible. The SA Cellar worker Programme was the competition part of the Winetech study groups for many years, but after 2016 it ceased to exist. Therefore, only the top 10 study group candidates were announced during October 2017. Therefor further evaluation of the top 10 in order to announce 3 finalists and a winner did not take place.

A parallel version of the Afrikaans study groups was introduced to Xhosa speaking cellar assistants during 2015.

From 2016 Nomonde Kubheka was responsible for both the Afrikaans and Xhosa study groups. However, Charl Theron continued to prepare the content and notes and presented the study groups at Orange River Cellars during 2015, 2016 and 2017.

The participating number of cellar assistants continued to increase from 2015. Late entries, after the progress reports were submitted for the 4th and last study groups, were received annually during August. The additional numbers were not reflected in the progress reports.
Literacy levels of both Afrikaans and Xhosa individuals continue to be a matter of concern. Illiteracy levels impact on skills development, but is a major contributing factor to social problems such as alcohol and substance abuse. Illiterate and semi-illiterate individuals generally have a lack of self-esteem.

The Nedbank@Work Financial Fitness programme was available to all participating cellars during 2015 and 2016. This programme offered assistance to Afrikaans and Xhosa cellar assistants, with personal budgeting and other financial matters. A number of cellars made use of the Nedbank programme.

Brief discussions regarding the responsible use of alcohol were included in the 2016 and 2017 study groups.

Numbers 2015 to 2017:
Afrikaans: 812 cellar assistants
Xhosa: 366 cellar assistants
Total participants: 1178 cellar assistants

Final Report

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