African Excellence Awards 2023

African Excellence Awards 2023 Winemaker for a Day is a unique wine blending experience that happens in the Franschhoek Village, in South Africa. The town is regarded as South Africa’s food and wine capital, with the workshop taking place in the delightful Café du Vin, one of the oldest buildings in the heart of the Franschhoek Village. ranschhoek is a town located on the Western Cape of South Africa, where centuries old vineyards nestle peacefully amid the distinctive and ornate Cape Dutch architecture. The stunning town has been home to Winemaker for a Day’s wine blending workshop since 2006, when it started at La Vigne Wine Estate. In 2019 it moved to one of the oldest buildings in town, the appropriately named Café du Vin. This is now where you will find one of the finest wine blending experiences on offer to date. Winemaker for a Day offers a 2-hour workshop for its guests to learn the noble art of wine blending. This includes understanding why and how wines are blended; a process in which wines from different regions/varieties are blended together to create a superior quality wine to those used in the blend by themselves. The tradition of wine blending has a long and esteemed history, with almost all wines available on the market today being blends of one kind or another. On your wine blending course at the Café du Vin, you will also learn to cork, capsule, and label your bottle with a design that’s exclusive to you. The experience also includes a special Winemaker for a Day apron to take away with you, along with, most importantly, your own personally blended bottle of wine to take home or enjoy with dinner at the restaurant. The workshop experience really is something fun and unique, and counts as an absolute must-do for anyone visiting Franschhoek with more than the slightest interest in wine. Winemaker for a Day is presented by talented sommeliers, winemakers, or wine educators. It also takes place in a town that has been recognised as one of Time Magazine’s ‘50 World Greatest Places 2022’ to visit. The business is a sister company to Café du Vin, which is one of the oldest restaurants in the Franschhoek region, and one of only a pair of restaurants in the entirety of South Africa that holds a Wine Spectator award for its world-class wine list. The company particularly values its people, which it thinks are the most integral ingredient of all. They continued to work throughout the challenging period shadowed by the COVID-19 pandemic, excluding the Governmental enforced closures. This meant that both Winemaker for a Day, and the restaurant Café du Vin held on to its staff, and its local customers. The mission statement for Winemaker for a Day is summed up in the phrase it stands by, “Giving people a great experience.” It feels this aligns perfectly with the current climate in Africa. Wine tourism is big business, and as South Africa is the ninth-largest wine producing market globally it is unsurprising to discover that in 2019 the wine tourist industry contributed R7.2 billion to the South African GDF, and supported 36 000 job opportunities. Wine tourism is one of the fastest growing parts of international tourism, and Winemaker for a Day steadfastly believes that South Africa will only continue strengthening its position as one of the best wine travel destinations in the world. “Wine Blending, the process in which wines from different grape varieties are blended to create a wine which is better than the sum of the wines in the blend, has a long tradition. In fact, most wines on the market are blends.” The internal culture at the company Winemaker for a Day is very much focused on its value system that recognises it’s all about the people. It proudly celebrates the high levels of trust that exist between its people, and the communication-based leadership agenda it encourages, which creates a strong team of what it calls ‘cathedral builders’. As one might expect, this extends further still, encompassing the company’s approach to hiring new staff. It endeavours to recruit people who will fit in with its team-based culture, and the competitive market forces driving it. Standing by the ‘it’s all about the people’ mentality has allowed Winemaker for a Day to attract and retain a plethora of excellent local talent to the business. Winemaker for a Day has a fantastic, informative website (https:// where you can book onto one of its popular workshops. You can also enjoy living vicariously through the wine blending pictures it shares on its Instagram account (https:// The unique selling points it promotes are enjoyment through participation in an interactive wine experience, a market leading position on the national stage, a high level of customer service, and a unique atmosphere to work and participate in. It is delighted to be the provider of an interactive wine experience for guests, in the centre of one of the most popular wine travel destinations in the world. The experience is created, finely honed, and delivered by wine professionals who possess excellent knowledge they can’t wait to share. Winemaker for a Day comes highly recommended by previous participants. For example, Mike reported back on his experience, “What a fun way to spend a few hours. Not only did we make some superb blends, we also learnt so much about the origins and different characteristics of various wines. We will definitely be back!” Likewise, Nilo was overjoyed with her hands on wine blending workshop. She comments, “My husband surprised me with this experience for my birthday. I had no idea what I was in for but hands down it was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had; we had a blast creating our own wines!” Looking to the future, Winemaker for a Day fully intends to build its reputation as a South African brand further still, by offering its expert wine blending experiences in other parts of the country. As the recently announced winner of Best Wine Tourist Experience 2023, in the African Excellence Awards, it will surely be delighting the tastebuds of many future eager new wine makers, and is whetting our appetites just thinking about it. Company: Winemaker For A Day Web Address: Contact Name: Ricardo Roux, MD and Wine Director F Best Wine Tourist Experience 2023