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Wine Time with Sommeliers from Top Destinations

With Dry January a thing of the past, it's time to take a look at a few sommeliers at top destinations and properties around the globe - it's five o'clock somewhere! Here's more:

Singita Premier Wine Training Program

One of Africa’s most influential collectors of wine, Singita’s extensive cellar showcases a premium selection of wines, including some of South Africa’s most sought-after exclusive release, limited single vineyard, and rare auction wines overseen by award-winning sommelier, François Rautenbach. In line with Singita’s ethos, community development is central to the Singita wine program. Director of Singita Premier Wine, François Rautenbach, has created a special training program for enthusiastic young wine lovers, developing the next generation of sommeliers for Africa. The training provides educational assistance, personal mentoring, formal wine training and access to Africa’s finest wine program.

Participants in the Singita Premier Wine Training Program include Ngoni Mtizwa, a relief Sommelier at Singita Sabi Sands. Introducing travelers to South African wines, which Ngoni says offer “the element of surprise – the wow factor”, and wine tastings in the bush are other highlights of his role at Singita Sabi Sand. With the support of Singita and François Rautenbach, Ngoni has continued his studies completing WSET Level 3 and is now a Certified Sommelier with Court of Master Sommeliers Europe. Sommelier Minnie Mthombeni has been at Singita Sabi Sands since 2018 where she has continued to develop her wine education and industry connections.

Wayve Kolevsohn, Ellerman House

Wayve Kolevsohn, Sommelier at Cape Town's Ellerman House, is the first female in Africa to pass the Court of Master Sommeliers Certified Sommelier exam. Widely considered to be the benchmark for international sommeliers in the US and most of Europe, this prestigious qualification has never before been offered in South Africa, opening up a world of opportunity for Africa’s rising stars. Wayve joined the Ellerman House team in 2019, and has previously worked at some of Cape Town's best restaurants including The Test Kitchen, The Roundhouse and The Tasting Room among other international assignments. 2019 was a milestone year for Wayve as she was also appointed on the board of the South African Sommelier Association. To learn more about Wayve, please see here.

Hotel Eden Roc

Walter Martinat, Hotel Eden Roc

Walter Martinat, the Restaurant Manager of Hotel Eden Roc's Restaurant Eden Roc, is a Piedmontese native with extensive experience in fine gastronomy and a professional in the field. After graduating from the Institute of Higher Education in Pinerolo, Martinat began working in hotels across Europe and the UK, including Hyde Park in London, Badrutt's Palace in St. Moritz and Villa & Palazzo Aminta in Stresa, before joining the Tschuggen Hotel Group team in 2014. He began his time with the group as 1st Sommelier at the Carlton Hotel St. Moritz’s Michelin-starred restaurant Da Vittorio and then moved to Head of Dining at Hotel Eden Roc’s restaurant La Brezza in Ascona. For the past two years, Martinat has been the Restaurant Manager at Hotel Eden Roc’s Restaurant Eden Roc, where he and his team are well-versed in the extensive wine and beverage offerings at the property.

Tschuggen Hotel Group prides themselves in offering locally-sourced wines found throughout Switzerland, Germany and Italy at each of their hotels. In fact, three of their hotels work with Swiss winemakers to create their own unique blends, exclusively offered at each property. The Tschuggen Grand Hotel offers their Tschuggen Edition, a Riesling-Silvaner with vintners Francisca and Christian Obrecht, Hotel Eden Roc has its Eden Edition with Guido Brivio and the Carlton Hotel St. Moritz developed one with Peter Wegelin.

Lloyd Jusa, The Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa

Lloyd Jusa is the Head Sommelier and Director of Wine Collection Program at the Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa. A Zimbabwean native now living in Johannesburg, Lloyd joined the Saxon in September 2012 after 2 years at Royal Malewane in Mpumalanga. He studied with the well-respected Court of Master Sommeliers and attained his certification in Austria in 2013. Lloyd’s passion for and deep knowledge of wine soon led to him to assuming control of the Saxon’s development program for young sommeliers, mentoring and moulding many a young sommelier. In this position, he has shown many of the passionate young sommeliers the commitment and dedication it takes to become a wine master. During Lloyd’s time at the Saxon, he was part of the team that launched the award-winning ‘five hundred’ restaurant with Chef David Higgs as well as Grei with Chef Candice Philip. He and his team were instrumental in the Saxon developing their much acclaimed, and awarded, wine list with local and internationally renowned wines. Lloyd is a big supporter of the local wine industry, spending a great deal of his time visiting wine farms and doing tastings always on the lookout for the next new discovery.

The Saxon has always held their wine list in high regard and pride themselves on offering guests the best local and international wines – whether they be unknown or well-respected – and this would not be possible without the passion and knowledge of our team of Sommeliers, under Lloyd’s leadership.

Learn more about Lloyd’s knowledge of wine here and here.