The odds shortened substantially on Joakim Hansi Blackadder – JHB – winning the inaugural Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award – BEWSA – after half the finalists dropped out at the final fence on Friday. Hot favourite Josephine Gutentoft was delayed in Nairobi by a third-world foul-up while Francis Krone also failed to appear.
Josephine spent the last two months – the slow winter season at the Grande Roche – as sommelier at Sankara five star hotel in Nairobi. When she reported for the flight back to Cape Town, she was denied boarding as she lacked a yellow fever vaccination card. So she went for the jab, but there being no yellow fever cards available in Nairobi, had to wait for fresh supplies of stationery and so missed the final at the Twelve Apostles, which could not be delayed. What a third world tragedy and victory for bumbling bureaucracy.
With all the women missing [sic, see comment below], the final collapsed into a two way shoot-out between Wayve Kolevsohn from Le Quartier Français in Franschhoek and JHB, GM of the Roundhouse in Camps Bay, who fortuitously shares initials with one of Africa’s most dynamic cities. Newly vaccinated Josephine puts her money on JHB to be the lucky Swedish sommelier to win the first prize of a trip to France.
Wayve is a woman, actually. And Francis didn’t attend because his wife was ill and didn’t want to be away overnight. A last minute a flight couldn’t be arranged to CT and back on Friday. Gregory Mutambe, the 5th ranked semi-finalist, of The 12 Apostles Hotel replaced Francis but it was too late to replace Josephine. Who knows there could be a surprise. With France the winner’s destination perhaps the other contestants too were super-inspired as were Les Bleus at RWC.
Sorry Wayve! Thought you were Francis!
See that some good research was done before the article was posted!
Francis, with an attitude like this, you make a great sommelier. Well done!