Day one’s tasting for the ABSA Top Ten Pinotage Competition ended off on a light note when Anthony Hamilton Russell (below) proposed that the Pinotage Association develop a smart phone app for Pinotage so that every sommelier in the world can have access to technical details for each Pinotage, any awards garnered, tasting notes, distributors etc. Such an app would be called a pap and the action of swiping it on a smart phone would then be a papsmear.
Speaking of sommeliers, the head one at Tsogo Sun (the old Southern Sun hotel chain) Miguel Chan mentioned that he’d just hired the entire complement of 100 wine stewards trained by the Cape Wine Academy in Johannesburg and 80 of the Cape Town crop for a six week engagement. With 42 of the Tsogo properties seeking to upgrade their food and wine offering this will be an incredible return on investment for the Department of Tourism and Hospitality which picked up the tab and a whole flock of feathers in the cap of the Cape Wine Academy for service delivery.
Compare and contrast to the unhappy experience of the SA wine industry, which spent millions on the failed Fundi project, managed by WOSA, to train 2010 sommeliers in time for the soccer world cup in 2010. “I’ve yet to see any job applicant mention Fundi on his CV” commented Miguel “and I see all applicants.” The time is surely fast approaching for someone to ask the hard questions about the whole Fundi fiasco.
As one insider commented “most of the Winelands municipality donation was blown by WOSA on a party to launch Fundi” a fair question to ask would be “is this all that was achieved?” Producers owe it to the unemployed masses to urgently demand an explanation from the WOSA board.