Thursday, May 17, 2012

THE BOLLINGER EXCEPTIONAL WINE SERVICE AWARD. Entries now open for 2012 Competition


Entries now open for 2012 Competition

Entries for First Round of The Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award 2012 are now open and candidates are urged to enter soon as entries close on the 31 May 2012. See below for entry details.

The high standards attained by Joakim Hansi Blackadder, now Sommelier at Rust en Vrede Restaurant, (previously at The Roundhouse), the winner of the 2011 Competition, and the other finalists have set the benchmark for aspirant sommeliers. As with the inaugural The Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award in 2011, the winner of the 2012 Competition will be announced at The Swartland Revolution in November 2012 and will win a trip to France including a trip to the prestigious House of Champagne Bollinger. Hansi Blackadder is presently in Champagne enjoying his prize and celebrating his victory, no doubt with a glass or two of Champagne Bollinger.

This annual Competition, which is aimed at enhancing and recognising the calibre of local sommeliers and wine service staff, was launched in 2011 and proved to be a resounding success.

Ginette de Fleuriot, Marketing Manager at Vinimark The Wine Company and organiser of The Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award, anticipates more entries this year, “We look forward to an increased number of entrants for The Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award 2012 and to wider representation from all of South Africa’s premier tourist regions.”

Champagne Bollinger is proud to be the main sponsor of the prestigious The Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award. The Competition is a joint initiative between Vinimark The Wine Company (importer of Champagne Bollinger and South Africa’s largest independent specialist wine wholesaling company) and The Reciprocal Wine Trading Company, importers and distributors of Riedel Glassware.

Ginette de Fleuriot comments further, “This industry-wide initiative was established to advance the interests of all of the country's fine wine producers, as well as those who make their living from the sale of wine in hotels, restaurants and wine bars. The sponsors and organisers trust that this Competition will continue to act as a catalyst for the hospitality industry to expand training facilities and support local sommeliers and sommeliers-in-training, in the interests of all those who enjoy dining out.”

Neil Grant, Chairperson of the South African Sommelier Association (SASA) and one of the judges of the 2011 Competition, states: “Wine service has a poor history in South Africa and only with incentives such as these will we find an improvement within the industry. Chefs in South Africa over the past 10 years have proven how good they are and now wine stewards/sommeliers need to be part of this movement so we can challenge the international markets.” SASA has committed to mentoring the winning candidate to further assist in guaranteeing continued professional wine service of an international standard.

The Competition entry criteria are:

·       Those currently employed in the service of food and wine and with a history of minimum three years of such service.
·       Contestants are required to have substantial knowledge of the local wine scene and of the professional service of both food and wine.
·       An adequate knowledge of international wine appellations and styles of wine is also a prerequisite.
·       More importantly, however, the contest examines the ability of those selling wine in the hospitality industry to relate what is produced in South Africa to the expectations of international visitors more familiar with the major wine producing regions of the world.

Competition dateline

First Round

Registration Forms and the completed Question Paper are to be submitted no later than 31 May 2012.

Second Round

The Second Round will take place from 6th - 8th August 2012 at venues to be announced.

Final Round

Finalists will compete in Cape Town on 8 October 2012 at a venue to be announced.

Competition winner announcement

The winner of The Bollinger Wine Service of Excellence Award will be announced at the Swartland Revolution on Friday, 9 November 2012.


Judges at all rounds of the Competition will include internationally trained sommeliers; Cape Wine Masters; and members of the hospitality trade.

To enter The Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award

For more information contact:

Ginette de Fleuriot
Vinimark Head Office
Tel: 021 – 8869165


Michael Crossley
Reciprocal Wines & Riedel Glassware
Tel: 011 - 482-9178

For further details on this year’s contest, go to

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