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My Story

The journey to sommelier

Born in Harare, Zimbabwe, Tinashe worked his way up to the position of manager at a grocery store when Zimbabwe fell into economic crisis. After moving to Cape Town in South Africa, he found work polishing cutlery at the fine dining restaurant, The Roundhouse. After being promoted to waiter and without any prior experience of wine, Tinashe learned from the beverage director, eventually landing a job as wine steward at Nobu - an establishment of the One & Only group. In 2013 he wins the Reaching for the Young Stars Best Wine Steward Award. He then works at the Oyster Box hotel in Durban, before returning to Cape Town to become the head sommelier at The Test Kitchen.

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The Test Kitchen era

While at The Test Kitchen, the restaurant ranks
in the top 50 best restaurants in the world and best restaurant in Africa.

 

In 2016 Tinashe wins the Eat Out Wine Service Award.

Throughout all of this time he works hard on achieving:

  • A diploma from the Cape Wine Academy

  • His WEST Level 3

  • A certificate from the Court Of Master Sommeliers Europe

  • A certificate in Wine Business Management from the University of Cape Town's Graduate School of Business

  • A Micheal Fridjohn Wine Judging Academy certificate

Team Zim

Together with 3 other wine sommeliers who followed a similar journey to Tinashe, Team Zim is founded. Tinashe Nyumudoka, Joseph Dhafana, Marlvin Gwese and Pardon Taguzu form the first wine tasting team from Zimbabwe. With MW Jancis Robinson helping them to crowdfund the means to compete in the 2017 and 2018 World Blind Wine Tasting Championships, their trip to compete in the 2017 event is the first time they set foot off the African continent. In 2017 they place second last, but in 2018 they place a very respectable 14th position, beating some established first world teams like Team USA and Team UK.

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Entrepreneurial dreams

Having fallen head over heels for wine, the ache to try his own hand at winemaking could not be resisted. A friendship with Attie Louw, a winemaker from the family estate Opstal in the Slanghoek valley, led to the opportunity for Tinashe to blend his own wines and in 2017 Kumusha wines was founded.

In 2020 Tinashe leaves his position at The Test Kitchen to focus on Kumusha wines and grows a range of wines exported to the USA, Zimbabwe, Kenya and the Netherlands.

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Keeping busy

Tinashe can often be found as

  • Wine Jury at Mundus Vini Grand International Wine Awards, Germany

  • a wine panelist for Wine Of The Month Club

  • a regular judge in South Africa, tasting on the Michelangelo wine and spirits awards and the Chenin Blanc top 10 Challenge and Platter Awards Five Star panel

  • curating and selling wines at sommoncall.co.za

  • consulting on new wine ventures