Three new Cape Wine Master’s graduated today at an awards luncheon at Lourensford Wine Estate, Somerset West. The graduates include Wanderer Wines owner Catherine Dillon, Leigh Berrie and Mary-Lou Nash.
Catherine received the La Motte Award for Viticulture Excellence, having achieved the highest score in the Viticulture exam, while Mary-Lou received the Brandy award. Leigh was awarded the Viniculture award and MCC award.
The luncheon was hosted by Lourensford winery and was well attended by Cape Wine Masters and invited guests. To date 78 Cape Wine Masters have qualified with 193 students enrolling for the programme.
Catherine was born and raised in Cape Town and completed a teaching degree from Stellenbosch University and UCT. Having taught in South Africa and abroad, Catherine returned from London to set up a tourism business and realised quite soon that her wine knowledge was not equal to her historical knowledge, thus embarking on her first wine course at CWA.
During the next courses leading to CWM, Catherine focused her business on wine specific tours, dealing with knowledgeable clients, journalists, wine clubs and winemakers from all over the world. Catherine believes wine tourism to be an area that can be developed further and key to this development is sound training and education of tourist guides, restaurant and front of house staff. Catherine lectures for CWA on all levels and loves combining her three life passions: education, wine and people.
Catherine worked at the Decanter World Wine Awards in 2008 & 2009, and ranks world class wines such as the Charles Heidseick 1979 Champagne and Royal Tokaji Essencia 2000 as memorable wines.