The Platter Guide to South African Wines encourages compact biographies, and here is Ingrid’s:
Love of wine and a growing aversion to hospital basements led Ingrid to give up a successful career in nuclear medicine to work first as a vineyard labourer, then as a lecturer and wine writer. Her wine interest took formal shape during more than a decade abroad, where she attained the UK WSET Diploma and, soon after, the Cape WSET Wine Judge certification. An associate of the UK Institute of Wines & Spirits, Ingrid runs an independent wine consultancy, advising some of Africa’s top game lodges.
…and top they are. Just to mention how much we love working with them: a prerequisite for working in the bush is an ability to work and live in close quarters with other staff for 40 days and 40 nights on the trot. The upshot is us having to deal with terribly nice people. They do sometimes call our office on Sundays, forgetting it’s the day of rest.
Yvonne, tireless administrator and bookkeeper, is responsible for dealing with reams of invoices from around 200 different wine suppliers, so that our clients’ lives are made simpler. She passed (with 93%!) the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET, UK) Level 1 and Level 2 exams last year, and is preparing for the daunting Level 3.
Of course, it helps her having a colleague who’s a certified WSET educator. That’s another thing we do: provide staff wine training. We also run an annual Wine Scholarship in the Cape wine lands, which is by far the best way of introducing staff to wine – it’s a week’s total immersion experience. There’s nothing quite like it to boost confidence and enthusiasm – and wine sales when they get back home.