Wines of South Africa (WOSA) USA 2019 Sommelier Cup Winner to Compete in Finals in South Africa
September 19, 2019
New York, N.Y.— Wines of South Africa (WOSA) USA (www.wosa.us/), the industry association which promotes the exports of South African wine, is excited to have Pittsburgh sommelier Adam Knoerzer represent the United States in the upcoming 2019 WOSA Sommelier Cup, a triennial competition of sommeliers from around the world. The competition will culminate in an exciting Grand Final to be hosted in Cape Town at The Vineyard Hotel & Spa this Saturday, September 21st, 2019.
Following several rigorous semi-final rounds in various countries, a total of 11 finalists from around the world will compete in this prestigious event, where one will be crowned as the winner in this competition.
Adam Knoerzer, this year’s WOSA USA finalist, is a native of Indiana who made his way to Pittsburgh in 2011 after stints in New York and Paris. A polyglot with bilingual fluency in French (he also speaks Portuguese and Spanish), he brings over 10 years of teaching, training, and public speaking experience to Dreadnought Wines, where he helps lead the School of Wine and Spirits and assists in wine buying and retail operations. Knoerzer is a Certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers and holds WSET awards in Wine (Level 3) and Spirits (Level 2). He is an aficionado of off-the-beaten-path grape varieties and regions who aims to make wine more inclusive through his educational programs and portfolio development.
Knoerzer will compete for the winning title against Andrew Forsyth from Canada, Maja Hempel from Sweden, Taku Iguro from Japan, Derek Li from Greater China, Takura Makadzange from Zimbabwe, Martien Marcelissen from The Netherlands, Samuel Ndichu from Kenya, Richelle van Gemert from the United Kingdom, Maximilian Wilm from Germany and Chek Wong from Singapore.
Jim Clarke, US Marketing Manager for WOSA, stated, “We’re thrilled to have Adam represent the US in this year’s Sommelier Cup. After a tough competition across the country in the first half of the year with over 200 entrants, he came out on top. Adam is a fantastic ambassador of the South African wine industry in the States, and we will be rooting for him all the way in the Grand Final.”
For winning their semi-final rounds, each finalist receives an all-expenses paid trip to the Cape Winelands to participate in the overall final from the 19th until the 26th of September. These sommeliers will be hosted in several of the South African wine regions over the period of their stay and be able to attend masterclasses and tastings with regions and varietal organizations, as well as have the opportunity to be truly immersed in South African wine, food and hospitality.
The Grand Final event will be judged by a selection of local and international judges. The international judging panel includes Marc Almert (Germany), who was the overall winner of this competition in 2016, Sören Polonius (Sweden) and Ronan Sayburn (UK). The local judges, who are all members of the South African Sommelier Association (SASA), are Joakim Blackadder and Spencer Fondaumiere. This year for the first time there will be the addition of an Associate Judge, Minenhle Mthombeni, who has been nominated by her peers.
On the day of the final, participants will be required to complete a number of elements, including a theory test on South African wine and the industry, in order to pass through to the final service element, where only the top three will then compete for the title in front of an audience of South African wine producers and media.
The winner and runners up, as well as the other finalists, will be receiving gifts, prizes and experiences from Wines of South Africa, South African wine producers and generous sponsors.
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.