Triennial Sommelier Competition Kicks Off with the Chance to Win a Trip to South Africa in September

New York, NY, December 5th, 2018 – Wines of South Africa (WOSA) USA (, the industry association which promotes the exports of South African wine, is excited to announce the upcoming 2019 Sommelier Cup, a triennial competition of sommeliers from around the world. The contest will test entrants’ knowledge of South African wine, with the ultimate prize of a trip to South Africa in September to compete against other national finalists.

The competition is open to sommeliers anywhere in the United States, currently working in a restaurant as a sommelier and/or wine director, or in wine retail in a buying capacity. The competition consists of two parts: the SEMI-FINALS, which will take place in each of the participating countries, ending in August 2019; and the FINAL, which will take place in South Africa from September 19-26, 2019. 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, US Marketing Manager for WOSA, stated, “With the country’s 360th wine harvest approaching, this will be a fantastic time to participate in the Sommelier Cup, the fourth one held. South Africa’s winelands offer everything from rich winemaking traditions and classic wines to up-and-coming young winemakers who are forging new ideas and styles. The 2019 Somm Cup will open up exciting new ways for the U.S. sommelier community to explore what this amazing country has to offer.” 

The Competition Format:

  1. Starting in January, masterclasses will be held in these 15 cities: Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Finger Lakes, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington, DC. Each class will be followed by a quiz. Exact dates will be announced on a rolling basis at
  2. The five top scorers from across the country will be brought to New York City for the national final on June 12. WOSA USA will cover economy flights and 2 nights’ accommodation.
  3. The winner of the June 12 competition goes on to compete with the other national finalists from around the world in Cape Town in September. Along with the finals, the trip will include visits to the major wine regions and the chance to meet many top producers. Dates for the competition and visit are September 19-26. WOSA will cover airfare, accommodation, local transport and meals.
  4. In addition, five spots to accompany the finalist on the trip will be made available. Competitors from earlier rounds are eligible to participate. These five will get to cheer on the U.S. finalist and then accompany the international sommelier group on their visits and tour of the Cape. Priority will be given to semi-finalists, and then opened to entrants from earlier rounds. Participants will cover their own airfare, and WOSA will cover accommodation, local transport and meals.

How to Enter:

  1. Go to and fill out the entry form.
  2. Tweet or post on Instagram about 5 different South African wines, using the hashtag #CapeSomm.
  3. WOSA will reach out to confirm which masterclass you plan to enter.

Questions on the quiz may go beyond the material covered in the masterclass, so additional study materials may be found on the WOSA head office website: WOSA USA strongly suggests studying for the exam by tasting as many South African wines as possible.

For more information, please contact Jim Clarke, WOSA USA Marketing Manager, at [email protected]. You can also visit the international site for the Sommelier Cup competition at

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.