Cape Town and the Cape Winelands offer various wine courses delving into the wine industry history and mastering the art of winemaking while learning about the developing wine industry of South Africa. The wine industry is complex and multidisciplinary and it demands a specialised approach.
Here are six top institutions specializing in wine courses:
Cape Institute for Agricultural Training (Elsenburg)
Phone: +27 21 808 7700
Formerly owned by the Cape Colony Governor Willem Adrian Van der Stel, the Elsenburg farm was sold to the Government in 1889, when it became an Agricultural College. The University of Stellenbosch and Elsenburg used to run concurrent agricultural training until 1973, when the relationship between both institutions was severed, and the department of Agriculture accepted responsibility for agricultural training at Elsenburg. In 1976, the diploma in cellar technology was created, resulting in 80% of the country’s current winemakers being trained at Elsenburg.
In 1994, with the transformation to a democratic political order in South Africa, the Department of Agriculture: Western Cape was created. The Elsenburg and Kromme Rhee Agriculture Colleges amalgamated, and the training offered at Elsenburg was enhanced through the creation of a centre for further education and training to address the need for short, practical courses targeting farmworkers and emerging farmers.
The relationship with the Stellenbosch University was recently re-established, which translated into the provision of a B-Agric degree run concurrently with the Stellenbosch’s Faculty for Agriculture and Forestry. On 1 June 2004, the Elsenburg College has been renamed to the Cape Institute for Agricultural Training.
Wines of South Africa (WOSA) free online course
Phone: +27 21 883 3860
If you have a keen interest in South African wine you can do this online course, which was put together by WOSA in conjunction with Cathy Marston, Head of the International Wine Education Centre and WSET Educator of the Year. It contains six informative modules and covers a variety of topics related to the South African wine industry, from history, varieties, wine styles and winegrowing areas to sustainable production and tourism. Each module is followed by a multiple-choice quiz.
Cape Wine Academy
Phone: +27 21 809 7597
Founded in 1979, the Cape Wine Academy is recognized as the official wine education and training institution in South Africa. The academy provides a range of social and professional wine courses for individuals and tertiary institutions and specializes in creating bespoke wine-tasting events for corporate clients.
The Cape Wine Academy is one of the oldest academies in South Africa and has seen more than 200,000 students through its doors since its inception in 1979. This is where most of South Africa’s wine industry experts have completed some form of education, training or experiences. Their courses offer a unique focus on the Cape Wine landscape while holding true to the context of global wine regions. The academy prides itself in collaborating with various partners to ensure that wine education in South Africa takes on a wider spectrum aligning with industry players and wine enthusiasts.
All Cape Wine Academy lectures are presented by South African winemakers, Diploma graduates, and Cape Wine Masters, who are actively involved in shaping the South African Wine industry today.
The Business of Wine
Phone: +27 21 406 1111
Website: The Business of Wine
At one of the top universities in the country, The University of Cape Town Business of Wine course is the only one of its kind in South Africa to focus on the business aspects of the wine industry. This is a ten-day course, aimed at professionals across the industry, with the aim to provide you with crucial market insights, business insight and the leadership skills needed. The UCT GSB is a top-ranked, global business school with a world-class reputation.
International Wine Education Centre
Phone: +27 (0)21-035-1438
The International Wine Education Centre (IWEC) was established in 2011 as the first Approved Programme Provider for the internationally-recognised Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) in Africa. WSET is the largest global provider of wines & spirits qualifications and their wine and spirit courses are accepted across the industry-standard in more than 70 countries around the world. The IWEC regularly teaches courses throughout South Africa, specialising in the Western Cape and Gauteng.
Department of Viticulture and Oenology – Stellenbosch University
Phone: +27 21-808 4545
Situated in the heart of the Cape Winelands, Stellenbosch University has a long history of engagement with the sciences of the vine and the wine, and a close association with the South African grape and wine industries. Tuition in Viticulture and Oenology was already offered in the 1880s.
The DVO is the only department in South Africa that offers graduate and postgraduate courses in Viticulture and Oenology. The department has at its disposal significant research facilities, including experimental and commercial vineyards, a small-scale experimental cellar and industry-scale research and teaching cellar, as well as well-equipped viticulture, oenology, biotechnology and chemical laboratories.
Research projects are supported by competitive grants awarded to the department by industry or government institutions. The department enjoys wide national and international recognition and maintains contact and research collaboration with many national and international universities and research organizations, such as the Australian Wine Research Institute in Adelaide, Australia, the German Wine Research Centre in Geisenheim, the universities of Burgundy, Bordeaux and Montpellier in France, the Centre for Industrial Fermentations in Madrid, Spain, and many more.