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

Airlines and Posts cooperate sign MoU

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the International Post Corporation (IPC) have signed an MoU to reinforce cooperation between the two organisations.

Kenya Airways expands codeshare with Alitalia

Kenya Airways has signed an enhanced codeshare agreement with Alitalia (a partner airline in the SkyTeam alliance), creating additional connectivity to the networks of the two airlines, into Africa, Europe, the Far East and South

Embraer Phenom 300 is world’s most delivered llght jet

Embraer Executive Jets delivered 51 Phenom 300 and Phenom 300E light jets in 2019, making it the most delivered light jet of the year.

USAF C-130 supports Flintlock 2020

A United States Air Force (USAF) C-130J Super Hercules aircraft and Airmen assigned to the 37th Airlift Squadron, 86th Airlift Wing, Ramstein Air Base, Germany, deployed to Senegal and Mauritania to support and participate in

Green Africa adds three more A220-300s to its fleet

Green Africa has added to the news that it has ordered 50 A220-300s from Airbus by also committing to lease an additional three of the aircraft from leasing company, GTLK Europe.

Beechcraft King Air 350ERs begin maritime patrol duties

Leonardo has revealed that two Beechcraft King Air 350ERs, equipped as Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA), have gone into service with an African Navy following their delivery by the Company, which acted as prime contractor and systems

AVAFA20SK2207050320
See us at
AVAFA20BT2207050320AVMENA20 BT1309100620