The Old Vine Project has created the ‘Old Vines: Laying the Groundwork’ course which is designed to educate industry members across the entire value chain. Sommeliers, wine retailers, winemakers, viticulturists, sales and marketing personnel, media, and consumers, will all be able to delve into the old vine category of South Africa. They will be able to review old vine philosophies, hear from a range of industry legends across the wine industry about their areas of expertise and its relevance to the old vine category, what it brings to winemaking, food and wine pairing, tasting old vine wines, as well as selling them.

Learners who purchase the course will gain access to 10 modules, which will take the average learner approximately 20 hours to complete. The old vine category is amongst the fast-growing wine categories in South Africa and is widely considered to be the most innovative and dynamic wine category in the country. Brands associated with the Old Vine Project include some from the best known and lauded winemakers in the country. The close to 140 members have achieved phenomenal success in the category in recent years, extracting incredible texture, complexity, and flavours from their vineyards and wines. Wines that wish to carry the highly sought-after Certified Heritage Vineyards seal on their bottles, must come from vineyards that are 35 years and older.

The Old Vine Project believes that the category has to bring real financial reward to its members, and it has from the outset sought to enhance the viability of the South African wine industry by showing how increased retail prices for the old vine wines can lead to increased prices for farmers of old vine vineyards.

The web-based platform includes a Learner Management System that tracks learners’ progress, and learners will receive a Certificate of Competence from the academy. Nadia Hefer, the OVP’s project consultant, and head of the development team for the academy, had this to say: ‘The Old Vine Academy has been a labour of love for myself and the team over the last 12 months. We are extremely grateful to the Imvini Wethu partners in Germany whose support and funding enabled us to develop this groundbreaking project.’

‘The Old Vine Academy will deliver insightful knowledge to learners, and I am grateful to my development team, in particular Cherese Sauer, members of the wine trade, media, and other commentators who feature on the course, for their time and contributions that helped us bring the course to life. My fellow Old Vine Project team members, Rosa Kruger and André Morgenthal, provided guidance and inspiration, bringing their many years of experience to bear in helping us to deliver the academy. This is the first step in showcasing the South African old vine category to the world on a focused educational platform,’ concludes Nadia.

The course is available via the Old Vine Project website at a cost of R 1 250 per person.  

For more information, please contact:

Nadia Hefer:

Tel: +27 (0) 82 889 2230



André Morgenthal

Tel: +27 (0) 82 658 3883


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