South Africa's Jordan Wine Estate is offering an annual bursary to a women graduates of the UK's Plumpton College.
Gary and Kathy Jordan: ‘encouraging’
The scholarship, which includes a two-month harvest internship at the Stellenbosch winery, is part of the estate’s Women in Wine Initiative, a programme to sponsor and mentor women in the wine industry, both in the UK and in South Africa.
The initiative is in two parts: the first is the bursary aimed at Plumpton students, while the second part is based in South Africa.
Jordan Wine Estate will select a previously disadvantaged female candidate with a background in marketing or journalism and offer them the opportunity to move into a career in wine education, wine journalism or wine marketing.
The student will attend the Wine and Spirit Education Trust courses that are now being offered in the Cape, and ‘will also be able to gain further in-depth knowledge of winemaking and grape growing by visiting Jordan seasonally to put into practice what has been learnt on the courses,’ the estate says.
This part of the initiative is part of the Black Empowerment Enterprise (BEE) and is offered to ‘someone who is qualified through school bursaries and has a passion for the subject but cannot continue due to their circumstances,’ a spokeswoman for Jordan told Decanter.com.
Jordan’s owner and winemaker Kathy Jordan said that when she started making wine 20 years ago it was very much a male-dominated industry, but according to recent statistics women had made huge progress.
‘Over the past five years there has been an equal intake of men to women with some years even more women applicants. This is very encouraging.’
She stressed the initiative was not just about women winemakers but was aimed at getting women into marketing, writing, wine education and other areas.
‘We hope to set the ball rolling and encourage other wine makers and educators around the world to ensure that women play their full role in this fascinating and exciting world.’
Plumpton College’s wine department head Chris Foss said it was ‘a wonderful opportunity’ for the students, adding that he was ‘fully supportive of both the links with South Africa and the ‘female-only’ concept’.
Jordan Wine Estate already supports the Cape Winemakers Guild Protégé Programme, which aims to nurture young winemakers, both male and female, from previously disadvantaged groups.
Jordan’s Nine Yards Chardonnay 2010 won the coveted International Trophy for Chardonnay over £10 at the Decanter World Wine Awards 2012.
Written by Adam Lechmere