Advini South Africa introduces Young Winemaker of the Future Challenge to boost innovation

by | Mar 13, 2020 | News

As part of Advini’s investment in South Africa’s land, wine and people, the Advini South Africa Young Winemakers of the Future Challenge was established to catalyse innovation and skills development.

The Advini South Africa Young Winemakers of the Future Challenge is supported by the French Embassy in South Africa, as well as the French South African Chamber for Commerce and Industry (FSACCI). Dr Benoit Divol (Stellenbosch University), Philippe Geromond (FSACCI), Laurent Amar (French Consul General, Cape Town), Aurélien Lechevallier (French Ambassador to South Africa), Naretha Nicome (Advini South Africa Managing Director), Antoine Leccia (Advini President), Yves Guenon (FSACCI Chairman) and Mathieu Becue (French Embassy innovation attaché).

The Challenge was introduced at an event at L’Avenir Wine Estate in Stellenbosch last week and will provide two young South Africans with the invaluable opportunity of a two-year international protégé scholarship, comprising hands-on involvement in the global wine business – from production to logistics, marketing and business development.

The winners of the Challenge will have the opportunity to be part of the harvests at Advini’s icon properties in France as well as South Africa, while the commercial leg of the journey will involve logistics, marketing and business development in North America, Asia and Africa.

With an initial investment of R2 million in the Advini South Africa Young Winemaker of the Future Challenge, Advini confirmed its commitment to continue to invest in the Western Cape wine industry, as pledged at the South African Investment conference in 2019. “Developing human capital and innovation is critical for sustainable development of an industry and region. Advini is therefore investing in the next generation of winemakers in South Africa in a Challenge that is similar to a programme that has been running in France for five years now,” explains Advini president, Antoine Leccia.

Entries for the Challenge will involve submitting innovative wine production and commercial ideas which could benefit the South African wine industry, from South Africans under the age of 30. The proposals can relate to any aspect of the wine business value chain, including but not limited to: viticulture, water preservation, sustainable energy practices, winemaking, information technology, logistics, marketing and software applications.

These innovative ideas will then go through a screening process, before the 10 finalists are invited to present their projects to a panel of international experts. The winners will be announced in September 2020 and the official protégé programme will start in January 2021.

The Advini South Africa Young Winemaker of the Future Challenge is supported by the French Embassy in South Africa, which has specifically prioritised cooperation agreements to support innovation and cooperation between South Africa and France. “Advini has taken a leading role in driving innovation and skills development in both France and South Africa.

The Young Winemaker of the Future Challenge presents another valuable opportunity to identify and eventually implement innovative ideas, through existing partnerships, such as the innovation incubation through the Launchlab at Stellenbosch University,” highlights the French Ambassador to South Africa, Aurélien Lechevallier.

Exposure to the complete value chain of the global wine industry will offer the winners invaluable international experience to kick-start a career in the wine industry. “Internships, mentorship and protégé programmes are so important to sustainably attract new talent to the wine industry. Advini South Africa has identified this need and the entire wine industry and Western Cape will benefit from this,” highlights Dr Ilse Trautman, Chief Director: Research and Technology Development at the Western Cape Department of Agriculture.

The Challenge is supported by Winetech – the organisation that governs wine industry research and skills development. “Winetech will play an active role in rolling out the Challenge at tertiary education institutions and skills development platforms. Both innovation and skills development are cornerstones of Winetech’s mandate and we are proud to partner with Advini,” explains Winetech ‘s executive manager, Gerard Martin. Although the Challenge will be marketed at universities and agriculture colleges throughout South Africa, tertiary education is not a prerequisite to enter and anyone with an interesting project is encouraged to enter.

“It is crucial that young people remain interested in and excited about winemaking and viticulture. We hope that this initiative attracts new talent from across different backgrounds and interests to the wine industry,” explained Naretha Ricome, the managing director of Advini South Africa. “Our ambition is to create a ripple effect through the Advini South Africa Young Winemakers Challenge that results in real change and sustainable development,” concluded Ricome.

Aurélien Lechevallier, French Ambassador to South Africa, at the introduction of the Advini Young Winemaker of the Future Challenge.

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