Sommelier at the Palace of the Lost Cityon September 9, 2011
Recently appointed head sommelier at The Palace of the Lost City at Sun City , Thato Goimane has already carved a name for himself as one of the best palates in South Africa. This acknowledgement is mostly due to the slew of awards that have come his way over the past year including, winner of the KwaZulu Natal Young Sommeliers Competition in 2010 and third runner up in the National Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Young Sommelier Competition also in 2010. In addition, Goimane is a professional member of Chaîne des Rôtisseurs.
Soweto born, Thato Goimane’s ‘love affair’ with wine started whilst working as a waiter in Johannesburg. His passion was further encouraged when he went to work for Michel Morand, owner of Gatriles and Auberge Michel. Morand spotted his inherent talent for tasting and encouraged Goimane to learn more about wines, which set Goimane on a new path of destiny. Whilst working he studied part-time, honing his craft.
Goimane has received several qualifications from the Cape Wine Academy, including a preliminary certificate from the academy in 1998, followed by the Certificate Course and then the Food and Wine Course between 2001 and 2005. He obtained a Certificate in Fine Wines of the World in 2005. He attended the first Wine Tasting and Judging Academy hosted by Michael Fridjhon, took part as an associate judge at the Caylon Bordeaux Wine Challenge, and he was on the panel for the South African Airways Wine List selection in 2009.
The thirst for knowledge kept Goimane coming back for more and he enrolled at the Wine Tasting Academy at the Sheraton Arabella in Cape Town in 2005. This experience equipped him with the ability to taste and judge wine at a professional level and gave him a greater knowledge and understanding of wine, as well as an understanding of the intention behind each bottle.
Thato’s ultimate goal at The Palace is to change the wine list; to achieve a fresher note, a more lively style, but first, he needs to train staff at The Palace to become sommeliers. Thato wants to motivate others, much the same way as he was motivated to learn about wine. He will share his experience and academic knowledge of wine in the hope that he too may alter the course of someone’s life for the better.