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  • Writer's pictureErica Taylor

Semi-Finalists | Best Sommelier of South African in partnership with the Stellenbosch Wine Routes

Announcing the Semi-Finalists for the Best Sommelier of South African in partnership with the Stellenbosch Wine Route!

The Quarter-Finals came down to fractions of a point, with the following candidates scoring over 90%, so we have decided to move forward with seven semi-finalists this year.

Laurie Cooper

  • SASA Treasurer

  • SASA Sommelier

  • WSET Level 4 Diploma

  • Stage 2 Master of Wine (MW) student

  • Distinction graduate Michael Fridjhon Wine Judging Academy

  • Moët & Chandon Best Young Sommelier in SA 2019

  • Winemaker and Sommelier at Abingdon Wine Estate

Wikus Human

  • Court of Masters Certified Sommelier

  • Head Sommelier Marble and Saint Restaurant

  • Moët & Chandon Best Young Sommelier 2017

Tayla Skye Kirschner

  • SASA Junior Sommelier

  • WSET Level 3

  • Cape Wine Academy, certificate level

  • First runner up for the Moët & Chandon Best Young Sommelier in SA 2019

  • Represented SA in the Ubuntu Sommeliers trophy 2020

  • Works at, "A Bunch Of Buddies"

Lovejoy Neshamba

  • SASA Junior Sommelier

  • Cape Wine Academy, certificate level

  • Distell Inter Hotel Challenge - Wine Steward of the year 2019

  • Barman at Ellerman House

Stefan Reinmuth

  • SASA Junior Sommelier

  • WSET 3 Certified (WSET Diploma, in process)

  • Brand Ambassador at Oldenburg Vineyards

  • Host of 'Blackout: Stage Wine' on Instagram

Jean Vincent Ridon

  • ASI Sommelier Diploma

  • SASA Sommelier

  • Two-time finalist Best Sommelier in South Africa

  • Quarter-finalist Best Sommelier of Europe and Africa.

  • Author of "Passion for Pairing"

  • Working at Sommeliers Academy

Roxan Waldeck

  • SASA Sommelier

  • WSET Level 3

  • Best Sommelier Finalist 2016

  • Michael Fridjhon Wine Judging Academy

  • Independent - Wine and hospitality facilitator

These sommeliers will join us at Blaauwklippen Vineyards on Wednesday the 15th of September for closed-door semi-finals, where they will be tested on theory, blind tasting, and food and wine pairing.

At 13h30, we will kick off the live-stream, main stage event hosted by the charismatic Guy MacDonald, where three finalists will be announced and compete in front of our esteemed panel of international and local judges.


  • Master of Wine Madeleine Stenwreth

  • Famed chef Harald Bresselschmidt

  • Reigning Best Sommelier in South Africa, Jo Wessels

  • SASA Chairman and ASI Diploma sommelier, Spencer Fondaumiere

Thanks to WineLand Media, this competition will be live-streamed worldwide across multiple platforms.

Tune into our Facebook Page or WineLand's YouTube for the live-action competition to see who will be named the Best Sommelier in South Africa.

Thank you for the continued support of our Sponsors

~ Stellenbosch Wine Route

~ WineLand Media

~ Uncorkified

~ Winterhalter

~ WWF Conservation Champion Initiative

~ Zwiesel (Ambience Hospitality Brands)

~ Blaauwklippen Vineyards

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