Plaisir de Merle is a participant in the Distell Inter Hotel Challenge which focuses on the role of mentorship, the youth and their bright future in the hospitality world. During “Grape to Glass” Cellar Master Niel Bester shared his passion and knowledge on what it takes to be a winemaker and how to achieve excellence.
About the Inter Hotel Challenge
“It is an honour for Distell and Zonnebloem to back the Inter Hotel Challenge for the eighth year running, demonstrating our commitment as a company to skills development and transfer. We believe that this is essential to the successful progression of the hospitality and tourism industry in South Africa, honing the incredible talent and ability of our country’s young chefs, sommeliers and wine stewards,” says Richard Rushton, the Distell Group’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
“We in the industry are at the forefront of shaping perceptions and building the hospitality trade beyond its current strengths. This is what makes the Distell Inter Hotel Challenge such an exciting and progressive platform. It encourages the pooling of talent, skill and resources to create greater impact.”
“This is exactly what the South African hospitality industry needs right now,” commented Ashleigh Christie, Regional HR Director – Africa Minor Hotels. “There is so much undiscovered talent out there, all waiting for the chance to shine! We actively want to be a part of the process that finds and grows our new talent for tomorrow’s hospitality industry. Those of us in the industry should all strive to play a role.”
One of the important outcomes of the Distell Inter Hotel Challenge is the camaraderie, the coming together of the hotel industry in South Africa. Individuals and teams who normally see each other as competition, here they join forces, collaborating and generously sharing their knowledge, skills and foresight.
One of the aims of the Distell Inter Hotel Challenge is to promote talented young people over time taking them up the ladder of progression to becoming fully fledged wine stewards and one day hopefully to achieve the greater aim of becoming a junior sommelier in the world of wine and spirits. It is heartwarming to hear and read about the hopes and aspirations as they introduce themselves.
It is vitally important that the talent that has been so carefully nurtured has the opportunity to grow and shine. All the mentors that have inspired and urged them on are behind them every step of the way. This is a truly collaborative effort together with our hotels, to make this happen is a vote of confidence in the future of our young stars who will be taking our industry forward and upward.