Cape Winemakers Guild launches CWG VinPro Viticulture Protégé Programme

Committed to driving transformation in the South African wine industry, the Cape Winemakers Guild (CWG) in association with VinPro has expanded its highly successful Oenology Protégé Programme with the launch of a similar internship scheme to develop young viticulturists.

The new CWG VinPro Viticulture Protégé Programme, an initiative of the Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Development Trust, gives promising individuals the opportunity to realise their dreams of becoming fully fledged viticulturists after a two-year internship.

“The Protégé Programme is a major priority for all of our members. Thanks to a generous contribution from the VinPro Foundation, we are now able to branch out into niche areas of the wine industry which will broaden the reach of our transformation efforts significantly,” says Louis Strydom, Chairman of the Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Development Trust.

“We will start by taking in one Viticulture Protégé in 2015 and hope to see it grow and be just as successful as the existing Oenology Protégé Programme,” says Strydom.

Since its inception in 2006, the CWG Oenology Protégé Programme has seen the appointment of five graduates in full time winemaking positions.

“Although it is great to invest in initiatives that show positive short term results, we prefer to take a longer term view of the industry and focus our involvement on projects that will make a critical contribution towards the sustainability of the industry and its people over the years to come,” says VinPro Transformation and Development Manager Johan Giliomee, an advisory service that renders professional and need-driven consultation services in viticulture, oenology, soil science, agro-economy and general management to wine producers.

“We regard the Cape Winemakers Guild, with their innovative approach to training as
one such organisation that can make a difference,” adds Giliomee.

Established in 2013, the VinPro Foundation serves as a vehicle for funding key initiatives that can make a difference to the wellbeing of all participants in the South African wine industry.

The CWG VinPro Viticulture Protégé Programme aims to cultivate, nurture and empower promising individuals to become viticulturists of excellence. Mentored by members of the Cape Winemakers Guild, interns receive hands-on training with regards to the intricacies of cultivation practices to ensure top quality grapes for the production of diverse wine types and styles. Successful candidates admitted to this cutting edge programme receive a salary, coaching and life skills mentorship, attendance of selected Cape Winemakers Guild functions and wine tastings, industry networking opportunities and a certificate of completion at the end of the two-year internship.

Students interested in applying for the Oenology Protégé Programme or the CWG VinPro Viticulture Protégé Programme can visit, call Tel: 021 852 0408 or send an email to


Wine grape harvest smaller, but promising!

06 November 2013  by VinPro
The South African wine industry can look forward to a good, but smaller 2014 wine grape harvest than the record harvest obtained this year.
This according to a preliminary District Conditions: October2013 report released by Sawis (South African Wine Information and Systems), in collaboration with VinPro, the representative organisation for wine producers and cellars.
“We experienced a very good winter with sufficient cold weather and higher than average rainfall, which guaranteed favourable bud burst and resulted in large catchment and farm dams being full,” said Francois Viljoen, consultation service manager at VinPro.
Soil water content is also at full capacity, which bodes well for the season going forward.
Bud burst during spring was initially even; however a very cold, wet September – and extremely cold weather at the end of the month – resulted in later vineyards experiencing uneven budding. Bud burst was generally 7 to 10 days later than normal.
According to Viljoen, initial growth was slow due to the cold conditions and low temperatures in October, which was unusual for this time of the month. In many instances spraying programmes were delayed, with tractor access to vineyards being hampered by excessively wet soils. At the same time, snail populations appear to be a problem in some areas.
“It seems as though vineyard plantings are experiencing a revival and fewer vineyards are being uprooted; however a decreasing trend in total vineyard area over the past few years may still have a limiting effect on production,” he said.
Considerable frost damage along the Orange River during the last weekend in September will also have a substantial effect on this region’s wine grape harvest.
“Judging from the 2013 post-harvest period, the winter season, as well as the uprooting and planting trends in the regions, the crop is expected to be smaller than the record 2013 crop, but in most regions the seasonal conditions will nevertheless result in a good crop. However, the important flower and set period is still underway, and many variables, including climate, may have an influence on these preliminary observations during the next few months up until harvest time,” said Viljoen.
The full report, which provides an overview of the season and harvest expectations per district, can be downloaded from the Sawis website at
For more information, contact Jana Loots at tel 021 863 1027 or e-mail