Black Oystercatcher’s brand ambassador Owen McDonald has passed the prestigious South African Wine Judging Academy. The academy teaches wine enthusiasts to become top wine judges.

The academy is run by teaching fellow at the UCT Graduate School of Business, Michael Fridjhon. Only around 20 ‘students’ are selected to attend the three-day course every year. The course is followed by a tough exam.

Lectures and master classes are provided by the likes of Gary Jordan of the Jordan Wine Estate in Stellenbosch, De Grendel Cellar Master Charles Hopkins and Graham Beck Cellar Master Pieter Ferreira.

The academy aims to fill the gap in fully qualified professional wine judges in South Africa – with only a small pool of industry professionals able to give themselves this title.

The course is also beneficials to wine brands, with skilled judges able to help wine makers better understand judging perspectives.