Kievits Kroon Country Estate appoints Bongani Ngwenya as Sommelier and F&B Manager

Bongani Ngwenya has been appointed sommelier and F&B manager in charge of Granita restaurant at Kievits Kroon Country Estate, just outside Pretoria. Bongani brings with him a wealth of experience and knowledge of the wine industry.

Born in KwaZulu Natal, Bongani moved to the Cape after he matriculated and got his first job at Spier as a cleaner. It was there that he first discovered an interest in wine and began reading wine magazines. With the support of the wine centre manager, he enrolled in a Certificate Wine Course at the Cape Wine Academy in Stellenbosch. When he passed with flying colours, he was re-employed as a trainee wine merchant at Spier.

On completion of the Diploma Wine Course, he was offered the opportunity to work in the US by Rafiki Wine Company and spent a year in Minnesota gaining valuable experience in the industry. On his return to South Africa in 1999 he joined Grande Roche Hotel in Paarl as commis sommelier. A year later he joined the Devon Valley Hotel in Stellenbosch, which also owns SylvanVale Vineyards, as a wine ambassador, working in the hotel’s tasting room.

During the three years of his employment there, the hotel achieved its first Diamond Award in the Diners Club Wine List Awards. Bongani then spent a number of years working at top 5-star hotels in Cape Town and Gauteng, including the Arabella Sheraton and the Table Bay Hotel in Cape Town, Sun City Palace, Radisson Blu Hotel in Sandton, and, most recently, the Westcliff Hotel in Johannesburg where he was assistant F&B manager.

Bongani says his passion for and knowledge about wine is encouraged and stimulated at Kievits Kroon, which has an award-winning wine list, its own wine label, and is known as the Winelands in Gauteng. “I love the winelands look and feel about the estate,” he says. “And the wine list is fantastic.”

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