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
Latest News

Air Mauritius starts operations to Wuhan, China

The Wuhan route will be served by an Airbus A340 in a 34 business class and 264 economy class configuration.

ExecuJet welcomes first Pilatus PC-24 to Africa

ExecuJet, part of the Luxaviation Group, will be the first business aviation company to operate and manage a Pilatus PC-24 Super Versatile Jet in Africa.

Why Africa looks booked to succeed

For many years, Africa has been talked of as a continent of great potential in commercial aviation. That potential has never really materialised. As Alan Dron reports, the authors of a new book believe that, at last, things are about to

First ACJ320neo is assembled

The first ACJ320neo has been assembled on programme, fitted with CFM International LEAP-1A engines and painted in ACJ house-colours, in preparation for a first flight in the coming weeks.

Support our industry call from new ACI boss

Bongani Maseko, new chairman of the Airports Council International (ACI), believes that, despite challenges, African aviation is becoming a strong contributor to global economic growth.

Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority recognises IATA's Airline Safety Audit Programme

Kigali The International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) signed an MoU to partner for the improvement of aviation safety.

TAA SK0902311218
See us at
AAD2018 BTGroundHandling BT2205130918AviationAfrica_BT0607280219MarrakechAirshow BT2507241018AirCargoAFA_BT220318210219