Tuesday, August 29, 2006

South African Wine Exchange Program

Piedmont Virginia Community College is partnering with the South African Wine Industry Trust and the US/South Africa Wine Foundation in the first US - South Africa Wine Exchange Program. Ten young winemakers from the Stellenbosch region of South Africa are beginning an eight-week program in the US, in which they will combine classroom experience at PVCC with internships with wineries in central Virginia or California. Local vineyards include Barboursville, DelFosse, Kluge and Jefferson. A reception last week at the First Colony Winery welcomed the interns - I was joined there by City Manager Gary O'Connell, Chamber President Tim Hulbert and Congressman Virgil Goode and many others who are involved in the program. Neil Williamson of The Trellis Group had a lot to do with making this program and event happen.

The South African Wine Trust not only has a mission to promote the wine industry in South Africa, but to support the wine industry in disadvantaged communities, with an emphasis on Black South African economic development. A very positive program, and a very promising partnership.

And particularly interesting to me, since my brother Keith spent 6 months in the Stellenbosch region a couple of years ago, and was enamored of the region, and its wines. And suggested Stellenbosch as a potential sister city for Charlottesville.


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