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  • Writer's pictureErica Taylor

2021 CWG Protégé Programme Auction supports the future of the SA wine industry

In less than a month, there is an exciting opportunity to help support the Cape Winemakers Guild Protégé Programme when 75 lots of wine and experiences, donated by the members of the CWG and past Protégés, will go under the hammer.

The 2021 CWG Protégé Programme Auction in June will be the first of two charity Auctions to precede the annual Cape Winemakers Guild Auction in October this year. Proud to be recognised as the most successful skills development programme in the South African wine industry, the programme is funded by CWG charity auctions and generous donations from outside organizations.

International auction house Bonhams will host the Auction, and it will be held online at from Friday, 4 June 2021 until it closes at 16:00 Monday 21 June (London time). Registration opens on 4 June 2021. Please refer to the end of this press release for more details about the bidding process.

Buying wine on this Auction is not merely an act of purchasing a product. By participating in this Auction, bidders will be contributing towards a programme that nurtures young talent and enriches lives of individuals that ordinarily would not have had the opportunity. Buyers will also be supporting the future of the South African wine industry.

Star attractions of the Auction comprise unique collections of magnums, regions, cultivars, styles, and verticals of some stalwart producers. Rare wines from previous CWG Auctions, which are hard to come by, including the showstopping-lot comprising a wine from each of the 43 CWG members, will have bidders on the edge of their seats. Look out for the collections made by graduated Protégés, who now have their own brands and have donated their own wines for the Auction as a way of giving back and supporting future Protégés. There will also be a lot from the Imvini Wethu initiative born in Germany to support South African wine, collections from the Cape Wine Masters and individual member properties, signed bottles of wines, lunches, dinners, accommodation, and personalised tastings by the Members of the Guild.

No one could anticipate the events of the past two years and looking back, it is only with gratitude and a new sense of optimism that we look ahead. More than just a showcase of what South Africa does best, the 2021 Protégé Programme Auction celebrates the fierce desire to feel, survive and succeed, no matter how challenging the circumstances can be. A pandemic reinforced our sense of community, which is why some of the lots are named to celebrate the qualities we should aspire to. Wine in itself is alive and created as bottled memories, carrying the essence of these values.

We encourage everyone who is following the Protégé Auction social media campaign, including avid bidders, to use the hashtags #BuyForTheFuture and #ProtegeProgramme and help generate positive communication about the future talent in South African wine.

More about the Protégé Programme

Since the formation of the Guild's Development Trust in 1999, it has been a part of the CWG's journey to support meaningful transformation in the wine industry. Through this Trust, the CWG empowers farm employees through further education and contributes towards change by way of its Protégé Programme launched in 2006 by past CWG Chairman and retired member, Philip Costandius. This three-year internship aims to cultivate the next generation of award-winning winemakers, viticulturists, and future policymakers through mentorship and self-empowerment.

The Guild members play a pivotal role in mentoring and inspiring the Protégés to strive for perfection, passion, and excellence in winemaking.

The Protégé Programme wishes to cultivate a belief in each candidate's ability to cope; staying connected to the winemaking process and be guided with the necessary support by the CWG.

Since the inception of the Protégé Programme, 24 Protégés have completed the three-year internship, and 13 are currently participating in this ongoing programme. Of those who have graduated, 16 young winemakers now either hold leading winemaking roles or have their own winemaking projects.

How to register and bid online

Firstly, sign up for a Bidder’s Account with Bonhams. Once a Bidder’s Account has been set up, bidders will be able to register for the Protégé Programme Auction when it opens on Friday, 4 June and place their bids until the Auction closes 16:00 on Monday, 21 June (London time).

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