by | Jul 4, 2024 | Articles

Kachné Ross, Manager of the People and Skills Development department, reports on two recent training projects that have yielded profound impacts on the sector and the broader community: the South Africa Wine Cellar Assistants Programme and the Leadership Development Programme for Production-Level Managers.

“Firstly, individuals from diverse backgrounds have gained crucial skills in viticulture, winemaking, and leadership as part of these programmes,” says Kachné. “Secondly, the empowerment of previously disadvantaged individuals fosters a more inclusive and representative industry and promotes social cohesion and economic growth throughout the wine-producing regions of South Africa. And thirdly, by fostering expertise and professionalism, these programmes promoted sustainable agricultural practices, innovation in winemaking techniques, and increased competitiveness in the global market.”

South Africa Wine Cellar Assistant Programme

The South Africa Wine Cellar Assistants Programme recently hosted information sessions for cellar assistants in the participating districts of Stellenbosch, Wellington, and Worcester-Breedekloof.

Elzette du Preez, a qualified winemaker, facilitated the sessions. Participants gained insight into current conditions in the South African wine industry, learning about trends influencing the market, changing consumer preferences, health and wellness, climate change, and local and global wine production. The training focused on white wine cultivars, including their origins, vineyard cultivation, wine production, and wine styles. Greta Grobler, an independent registered social worker, concluded the sessions with guidance and information about successful teamwork.

Attie Louw of Opstal Estate sponsored two wines for a tasting at the Worcester-Breedekloof information session, which gave cellar assistants the unique opportunity to experience the Opstal Verdelho and the Opstal Semillon.

The large number of participants in the 2024 Wine Cellar Assistants Programme confirms the need to transfer practical and general knowledge to cellar assistants employed in the industry.

Cellar workers attending the information sessions at Opstal Estate.

Elzette du Preez, facilitator of the information sessions.




Charles Botha of Slanghoek Kelder and Gerrie Grootboom of Roodezandt RF.



Markquin Windvogel of De Doorns Wynkelder; Plaatjie Geduld of Roodezandt RF; Desmond Diedericks of Roodezandt RF; Elzette Du Preez, winemaker and facilitator; and Greta Grobler, independent social worker and facilitator.










Leadership Development Programme for Production-Level Managers

South Africa Wine recently created an opportunity to develop future industry leaders in the production part of the value chain through the 2024 Leadership Development Programme for Production Managers.

After sponsoring a successful leadership development programme for production managers in 2023, South Africa Wine decided to continue this programme in 2024, responding to the need expressed by industry employees via the Learner Management System (LMS).

The Hortgro/Mzars programme developed 107 leaders in the Western Cape Agri Sector with a marked difference in their leadership capability, impact on their teams and results post the leadership programme. Due to the great success of this programme, 15 wine industry employees were identified to participate in the 2024 cohort.

The nomination criteria for participating production-level managers included good verbal and written communication skills, computer literacy, access to the internet and a computer with a camera for Zoom sessions, exemplary job performance, and leadership potential, including currently managing a team or having been identified as someone with leadership potential.

The 2024 Leadership Development Programme for Production Managers kicked off on 8 May and was successfully concluded on 12 June. The participating farms included Compagniesdrift, Creation, Thokozani, Graham Beck, One Happy Valley/Môreson, Stellenbosch Vineyards, Ken Forrester Vineyards, Stettyn Family Vineyards, Griffin Wine Merchants, Vergelegen Wines, and Org De Rac. Congratulations to all the participants on completing the course.


The participants in the 2024 Leadership Development Programme for Production Managers.

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

Other Articles