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Interview with Brenda Karamba for Women’s Day

We celebrate this Women’s Day with an interview with Brenda Karamba, Majeka House sommelier and restaurant manager. Brenda is also a member of the Black Cellar Club (BLACC) is a communication mechanism and networking platform for African Sommeliers and beverage ambassadors throughout the African Continent.


How did you get into wine?
I used to spend my off days sleeping or watching a movie, but Josephine [previous sommelier] changed all that. She made me taste wines whenever she had a winetasting at work. I remember the first wine that I tasted was a Sauvignon Blanc straight from the tank and it hit me so hard to the core that until this day I will never forget that taste.

Which woman winemaker do you admire the most and why?
Cathrine Marshall is a phenomenal woman in all senses as well as a jetsetter. She got into the male dominated wine industry twenty years and against all odds proved that once you are dedicated and hardworking, nothing and no one can stop you from achieving your life goals. Today, although she does not own any wine estate, she has wines that do stand out among the best of the best wines in and beyond South Africa. She is a role model to a lot of young and upcoming female winemakers. She is full of knowledge and spirit and above all she has a lot of love for what she does, and that is making excellent wines.

What's next for you in terms of furthering your wine knowledge?
Wine knowledge is a never-ending road of education. I would like the chance to be at a wine farm and working with the grapes from the time of bud-breaking to the point where we put the wine in a tank or barrel to ferment will be the best wine knowledge and experience I could hope for.

Any words of wisdom for young women wanting to get into the industry?
Be willing to learn. In the world we’re living in it’s all about who is the best at what they do and no one is holding you back except you and your doubts. If an opportunity comes your way go for it, and rise to the top.
Posted: 09-Aug-2017


26-32 Houtkapper Street, Paradyskloof,
Stellenbosch 7600 Western Cape

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