Wine academy celebrates 40 years in the industry

15th November 2019 By: Khutso Maphatsoe - journalist

The Cape Wine Academy (CWA) is celebrating 40 years in the industry this year and notes that this is as a result of various individuals who have contributed positively to the academy’s strong focus on educating the industry.

Making reference to the evolution of the industry over the years, CWA head Harry Melck says the academy has always placed its focus on educating people from all spheres of life for the upliftment of the wine industry and its affiliated retail, hospitality and tourism industries.

“That ‘knowledge of wine is an asset to all’ remains as true today as it did 40 years ago.”

He mentions that CWA’s vision is to teach, inspire and grow an inclusive wine culture for all. “Everything done at the academy hinges on increasing education to all in the wine, hospitality and tourism industries,” he says.

Melck adds that courses range from the entry level ABC of Wine and Wine Service course to the articulated South African Wine Course, Certificate Course, Diploma Course and Cape Wine Masters.

Melck points out that, even when the industry is faced with challenges, these are combated by providing education from a grassroots level up.

He adds that, in terms of education, the trends and developments that the academy has noticed is that technology now plays a significant role in education as people learn more through online learning, adaptive learning and the use of social media.

“Education is no longer about attending a class and doing homework – greater focus has been placed on the experience and journey of learning,” he says.

Owing to this, Melck mentions that it is important that the way in which CWA delivers face-to-face and interactive learning remains fun, informative and relevant.

In addition, he mentions that there are collaborations that need to exist to ensure the wine industry grows and contributes positively to the country’s gross domestic product.

“Collaborations, such as social compacts between the wine industry, government, labour and civil society to work together to achieve effective transformation in the industry, will be beneficial.

“Another would be where wine producers and wine industry bodies collaborate to deliver consistent brand South Africa messaging internationally to uplift the wine, hospitality and tourism industries,” he concludes.