Impact SA

The Black Cellar Club raises a glass to the Wine and Spirit Education Trust

BLACC Executive Members - Pearl Oliver - Aubrey Ngcungama - Ian Manley - Joseph T Dhafana - Luvo Ntezo - Gregory Mutambe - Mercy Mwai (HR)

South African based not for profit company the Black Cellar Club (BLACC) has announced an exciting and meaningful collaboration between the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) and the International Wine Education Centre located in Cape Town (IWEC).

The collaboration between the three organisations allows for the sponsorship of the WSET Level 2 Award in Wines course to students in South Africa who would not otherwise have access to this globally respected qualification due to personal financial constraints as well as those whose employers in the hospitality sector will not cover the cost.

BLACC was founded in 2016 by emerging Sommeliers and senior Wine Stewards as a platform predominantly for but not exclusively to persons of colour who are interested to gain knowledge about wines and spirits from around the globe.

WSET is the world’s leading provider of wine, spirits and sake qualifications, which are recognised as the international standard in these catagories. They have been supporting the wine industry for over 50 years by providing inspiring training that boosts product expertise, develops tasting skills and builds confidence.

IWEC is the largest provider of WSET courses on the African continent and has been operating for more than a decade and is led by International Educator of the Year (2014), Cathy Marston, DipWSET.

The collaboration officially commences today when applications open to current members of BLACC.  Fifteen fully-funded WSET Level 2 Award in Wines places are available to candidates who would otherwise not have access. The application selection process will be managed by the Executive Board of BLACC supported by WSET to ensure impartiality. The application deadline is 10 October 2022.

The fifteen successful applicants will commence their WSET Level 2 Award in Wines courses in early November of this year and will be taught in Cape Town by WSET Educator and owner of the International Wine Education Centre (IWEC), Cathy Marston.

Says Cara Powell of WSET, “We are delighted to be working with BLACC and IWEC to launch the first phase of this initiative. This Level 2 Award in Wines course is envisioned to be part of a multi-year programme focused on upskilling wine industry professionals who would not otherwise be able to access our courses.”

Says Tuanni Price, BLACC’s Director of Education, “We believe that investing in education boosts confidence and empowers its members, resulting in better career opportunities and in turn has a significant impact that reaches beyond the individual. As our members rebuild their livelihoods post the devastating pandemic, this opportunity provided to BLACC by WSET could not have arrived at a better time”.

“I’ve seen first-hand the incredible difference a WSET qualification can make to my students, opening doors to a meaningful, sustainable career in wine around the world. I am honoured to be able to assist BLACC members seize this opportunity and am very grateful to WSET for their continued support of the South African wine industry”, comments Cathy Marston, owner of IWEC

For more information about WSET Global, IWEC and BLACC, visit their respective websites: / /


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