[Cellar Talks] S02E04 South Africa – Pardon Taguzu

On Friday the 26th of February we are joined by Pardon Taguzu for another edition of our talk show “Cellar Talks”. Pardon will join us to talk about his career in wine and South Africa as a wine country.

About South Africa

Thanks to its dry, mountainous climate, the area is home to more than 500 wineries and is one of the World’s largest wine producers. South African Winelands travel attracts oenophiles with vintages that range from Sauvignon blanc to its famed red Pinotage.

South African wine has a history dating back to 1659, with the first bottle produced in Cape Town by its founder Jan van Riebeeck. Access to international markets led to new investment in the South African wine market. Production is concentrated around Cape Town, with major vineyard and production centres at Constantia, Paarl, Stellenbosch and Worcester.

There are about 60 appellations within the Wine of Origin (WO) system, which was implemented in 1973 with a hierarchy of designated production regions, districts and wards. WO wines must only contain grapes from the specific area of origin. “Single vineyard” wines must come from a defined area of less than 5 hectares. An “Estate Wine” can come from adjacent farms if they are farmed together and wine is produced on site. A ward is an area with a distinctive soil type or climate and is roughly equivalent to a European appellation.

In the show we will discuss the major south African wine regions and some of their notable wineries and winemakers, as well as the presence and future of the country. We will also taste a South African wine with Pardon of course; the 2019 Glenelly Estate Reserve Chardonnay. 

About Pardon Taguzu

Pardon Taguzu is the owner of Swirl and Sip Fine Wines, and an experienced sommelier and wine professional who is born and raised in Zimbabwe. He began his career in hospitality as a runner at the Royal Hotel in Riebeek Kasteel, 89 km outside of Cape Town, South Africa. Thanks to his ability to adapt, he quickly went on to work behind the bar, before becoming a waiter and then a wine steward at Mama Cucina, the best Italian restaurant in the area. There, he was given an opportunity to create his first signature wine list, which included wines of notable producers as Eben Sadie, David and Nadia Sadie, Mullinuex, Silwervis Wines by Ryan Mostert & Samantha Suddons.

Pardon’s journey continued in South Africa where he moved to the Central Business District of Cape Town, after a renowned German chef and owner of Aubergine, a contemporary Asian, French and Mediterranean cuisine restaurant in Cape Town, had taken an interest his career. In 2017, Pardon became one of the “Moët and Chandon best young sommeliers” in South Africa. He continued breaking through barriers and went on to become one of the Top 5 wine tasters in South Africa, having competed in South African Wine Tasting Championships (SWTC). This, in turn, put him on Team Zimbabwe at the World Blind Tasting Championship in France in 2017 and 2018, where they achieved the 14th best in the world position. This achievement ignited his promotion to a Sommelier. Consequently, he worked with the best wine list in Africa and the Middle East (according to Diners Club), with over 800 references from all over the world, and managed a 17,500-bottle wine cellar.

His career took a new turn move to Europe, importing South African as well as non-South African wines into the European Market. He is now based in the Netherlands and continues pushing the barriers by becoming the first Black African importer of wine in the European market. Collaborating with the high-end gastronomy sector and top chefs and sommeliers, Pardon specializes in identifying the best wines for their renowned restaurants and patrons across Europe.

On top of all of this Pardon is an executive board member of the non-profit organisation the Black Cellar Club (BLACC) and still part of Team Zimbabwe (ZimSomms), which participates in world wine tasting championships. He is also a wine juror at the World Bulk Wine Exhibition (WBWE) in Amsterdam.

Pardon holds Diplomas from the Cape Wine Academy, Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WEST) Certificate, a BSc in Economics (University of Zimbabwe, BSc in Sport Psychology (University of Zimbabwe) and MSc in Digital Marketing (London Business School).

We are looking forward to talking to Pardon and learning from his background, experiences and South Africa as a wine country. Be sure to tune in on Instagram Live through our Dutch Wine Apprentice account on Friday the 26th of February, 19:30h CET.

Click here for instructions on how to follow a live show on Instagram Live. If you have questions for our guest you are welcome to prepare them and e-mail them to us or send them as a direct message on our Instagram account.

You can find a link to the recording of the show here.