in Flight Services & Support

SAA's annual wine selection process gets under way

Posted 29 August 2014 · Add Comment

Every year, South African Airways (SAA) convenes a panel of leading winemakers and sommeliers to choose the wines served on board its aircraft in the coming 12 months.

This year, the process began on 25 August and culminated in a media and industry briefing today, 27 August at Nederburg wine estate in Stellenbosch. 

At the briefing, the panel of 12 judges reported back on the more than 800 wines they have tasted over the past two days, and answered questions. 

“The annual wine selection is one of SAA’s most hallowed traditions and one that we—and the industry—take seriously. SAA is a showcase for South Africa on many fronts, not least of them our excellent local wines,” says Bongi Sodladla, SAA Senior Food & Beverage manager and sommelier, who leads the process. “The judges’ report-back acts as a ‘state of the wine nation’, and provides an opportunity to give an assessment of where our wine industry is at present.” 

The judges’ selection of approximately 60 wines will be announced at an awards ceremony on 1 November. 

Aside from Sodladla herself, this year’s panel included eight women and four men—a gender division that reflects the fact that the selection process traditionally takes place in August, women’s month. This year, Sodladla secured a mix of wine-makers and sommeliers to gain the perfect balance between technical expertise and the pairing of food and wine. 

Sodladla has also put together a panel with strong African roots, complemented by international expertise from the husband-and-wife team of John and Petronella Salvi, who are based in France. (Petronella Salvi was born in South Africa.) 

“All the judges are experts in the field and most have worked with us before. Experience is important because a wine’s characteristics are exaggerated at high altitudes, something that has to be part of the selection process,” Sodladla notes. “Pairing the right wines with the right food is an integral part of the travel experience on SAA.”

* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

Colas UK secures construction deal of new Ugandan Hoima International Airport

Colas UK has revealed its new direction as a transport infrastructure company able to compete for the largest projects both in the UK and overseas.

How to make the African cargo industry shipshape

Two major air cargo conferences took place in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, in June. Kaleyesus Bekele reports.

Travelport achieves ground-breaking IATA NDC Level 3 certification

Travel Port ha been certified by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) as a “Level 3” aggregator under IATA's New Distribution Capability (NDC) initiative intended to create a new distribution standard for the airline

Flight for sore eyes

It's not rare to spot an MD-10 aircraft in African skies but there is one unique jet, owned by Orbis that is saving the sight of thousands and offering life-changing training in eye care.

Etihad Airways adds new B787 to Casablanca route

Etihad Airways is to operate its flagship Boeing 787 Dreamliner on the Abu Dhabi – Casablanca route, effective 1 May 2018.

Conference plots the future direction for drones

Unmanned air vehicles and their potential uses throughout Africa were put under the microscope at the Drones East Africa Conference in Nairobi. Githae Mwaniki reports.

Aviation Africa SK18418
See us at
Aviation Africa BT18418