02 Feb Our Cellar Master Awie Adolf honoured with prestigious 1659 Medal of Honour!
Photo: Representatives from the industry received the 1659 medal of honour on behalf of the wine workers: From left to right: Dr Ernest Messina (Chairperson, Groot Constantia Board), Katazile Mtshikwana (Oom Tsotsi) (retired wine worker, Koopmanskloof), Awie Adolf (Cellar Master and shareholder, Fairview), Johan Ehlers (Chief Executive Officer, Agri-Expo), Nellie Cloete (retired wine worker, Groot Constantia), Hermanus Bienas (2017 winner of the Western Cape Prestige Agri Awards and Assistant Manager, Kys Nursery, Vredendal).
The unsung contributors to the wine industry were honoured with the iconic 1659 medal of honour last night at the annual Wine Harvest Commemorative Event at the historic Groot Constantia Estate, including our very own Cellar Master, Awie Adolf! Congratulations Awie! Thank you for all your fantastic leadership, loyalty and work ethic over 37 years! You’re always the one to shine a smile when we see you, and you are a light in the Fairview family!
The medal has been awarded to significant role-players in the industry since 1974. Last year, our very own Charles Back was awarded with this award, and during his speech, made mention of the ‘real heroes’ of Fairview and the wine industry at large (to read more, click here). It was thus truly special that this year, the Groot Constantia board decided to symbolically honour the voiceless and often faceless wine workers over the centuries by making them the collective recipient of the 1659 medal, as without them the wine industry could never have flourished.
Dr Ernest Messina, Chairperson of Groot Constantia, said this year’s award heralds a shift in emphasis of what was the practice until now: “Our purpose is to give a voice to all contributors, to bring to light new perceptions of historical facts and to confirm greater appreciation and respect for everyone’s contributions.”
Dr Messina said he trusts this will usher in a tipping point for the industry – especially in changing attitudes, giving recognition and achieving unity. He emphasised that everyone’s stories must be told to create a more representative picture of the role-players.
“Described in wine language – the blend is more complete and thus better. In this way we achieve justice. This industry is owned by all of us as we are co-creators of the industry historically and presently. We must continue to build in harmony on the solid foundation laid by Simon van der Stel and so many others who will sadly remain anonymous.”
Representatives from the industry received the 1659 medal of honour on behalf of the wine workers, including our very own Awie Adolf. The award will rotate between different venues in the wine industry and will ultimately reside at Groot Constantia.