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The man behind the local Gaggenau International Sommelier title

Dedicated to the vine, Swedish-born sommelier, Joakim Hansi Blackadder, emerged triumphant in the South African leg of the Gaggenau International Sommelier Awards 2018.

It took Joakim Blackadder years of dedication and commitment to his craft to get where he is today. Born and raised in Västerås, Sweden, it’s also where he started his sommelier studies and career. Blackadder moved to South Africa in 2008 and is currently one of the managing partners for Somm Hospitality Enterprises in Stellenbosch.

“It was the wine that made me move to SA together with the prospect of working in a foreign country and culture. I only intended to stay for a year or two and make my way through the wine regions on other continents but South Africa proved to have a lot to offer in terms of quality of life, wine, possibilities and culture.”

The man behind the local Gaggenau International Sommelier title

Somm Hospitality Enterprises is a young, dynamic company with a portfolio of business interests ranging from sommelier-focused hospitality training to specialised hospitality consultation and an increasing range of tastings, competitions, events and retail interests.

“We have long been trying to promote and expand the profession locally with our involvement on the South African Sommelier Associations board and by encouraging people to work and study towards becoming sommeliers. We also felt that the profession is perceived as a bit too stiff, when in fact it is fun and exciting and has very few limits. Starting our own company would help achieve it much quicker.”

Blackadder was officially crowned the first ever winner in May 2018 at the Gaggenau SA Sommelier two-day competition, which took place in Cape Town.

Gaggenau continues to establish itself as a brand which is far more than its luxury kitchen appliance capabilities. The German high-end appliance manufacturer aims to dedicate itself to shaping, developing and contributing to the future of culinary culture and design.

“I always look for opportunities to test my own abilities and to find out what I can improve. Participating in competitions offers me a great grounding opportunity to work closely with Gaggenau. I am a big fan of the brand. I think one of the reasons is its timelessness in terms of perfection and quality; no shortcuts are taken at any stage in production. The Gaggenau brand is also personified by its team throughout the company with its personal approach – it really creates longevity beyond a simple transaction or purchase..”

Blackadder will join seven other international contestants to battle it out for the overall prize in Beijing, China in this month. The 3rd edition of Gaggenau Sommelier Awards will culminate with a Gala Dinner at Red Brick Art Museum, Beijing’s famous architectural landmark.

For more information about Gaggenau Sommelier Awards click here.


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