Wines of South Africa (WOSA) USA Announces 2016 Sommelier Cup

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Triennial Sommelier Competition Kicks Off with the Ultimate Prize to Win Trip to South Africa in September

Starting in March 2016, Wines of South Africa USA ( will be running the third WOSA Sommelier Cup competition ( The triennial contest pits sommelier’s knowledge of South African wines against that of other sommeliers from across the U.S., and, if they make it to the finals, across the world. The FINAL competition will position the winning sommeliers from each participating country (the U.K., Canada, Germany and Africa to name a few) against each other.

The competition consists of two parts: the SEMI-FINALS, which will take place in each of the participating countries, ending in August 2016; and the FINAL, which will take place in South Africa from September 18 – 23 2016. Finalists will visit some of the Cape's most prestigious wineries, meet and taste wines with award-winning winemakers, dine in some of South Africa's iconic restaurants and explore the wonderfully diverse cuisine– all against the backdrop of some of the world's most breathtakingly beautiful winelands.

Jim Clarke, USA Marketing Manager, and former sommelier of Armani Ristorante and Megu in NYC, comments on this year’s competition, “2016 is an exciting year for South Africa: a new generation of winemakers are adding a unique creativity and energy to the scene, and we’re seeing changes made in the past (replanting, etc) paying off. The Somm Cup provides an excellent opportunity for the vibrant U.S. sommelier community to get excited about the category.”

How to Participate in the U.S.: Sommeliers anywhere in the U.S. who are currently working in a restaurant as a sommelier and/or wine director, as well as wine retailers working in a buying capacity, are eligible to participate.

  • Round 1: To enter, participants should go to and fill out the entry form. Next, sommeliers will need to Tweet or post on Instagram about five different South African wines, using the hashtag #CapeSomm. Every three additional tweets or posts will award participants one bonus point on the first round test, which will take place online on April 18, 2016 at 1pm EST. This will be a timed multiple choice exam with questions about the terroir, history, and geography of South African wine.
  • Round 2: The top 10 scorers from the online exam will be entered into round two, where they will each receive a six-pack of South African wines, all from a specific region or variety. Participants must then taste each wine and tweet/post about each one. Afterwards, they must write a short essay (600-800 words) explaining to other sommeliers what sorts of wines that region or variety does best, and why. The essay deadline is June 10, 2016.
  • Round 3: Three winners from the essay contest will be chosen to go to TexSom for a final, live, blind tasting and theory competition on August 13. The winner will go to South Africa to compete with winners from around the world. All of those winners will get to enjoy the Cape for a week, touring the major wine regions to put the final touches on their knowledge for the final competition. The trip will be from September 17 through the 25, with the final competition taking place on September 23.

Trade Contact: Jim Clarke, WOSA USA Marketing Manager- jim(at)wosa(dot)us

About Wines of South Africa
Wines of South Africa (WOSA) is the organization representing all South African producers of wine who export their products. WOSA, which was established in its current form in 1999, has over 500 exporters on its database, comprising all the major South African wine exporters. It is constituted as a not-for-profit company and is totally independent of any producer, wholesaling company or government department but is recognized by the South African Export Council. WOSA's mandate is to promote the export of all South African wines in key international markets including the United States.

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Jennifer Ziplow

Juliana Colangelo
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