Welcome from Winnie Bowman, Maître of the Commanderie de Bordeaux Afrique du Sud


Bordeaux is the most magical word in the world of wine. This city and region in south-western France, as well as its wines, have captured the imagination of millions of wine lovers throughout the world. Bordeaux’s wines are desired more than anything else by those people throughout the world whose passion for and obsession with wine is part of a shared community, a like-minded set of common values.


No wine-maker anywhere worth his or her salt can ignore the influence that Bordeaux’s terroir, grape varieties and wine culture has had in this chosen profession. The region is the reference point for everything and anything that is great about wine. If we don’t have Bordeaux, we dream about it. This includes us here in South Africa, representing this wonderful wine region through the Commanderie de Bordeaux’s chapter here.


At present, there are 82 Commanderies spread throughout the world. Officially recognised by the drawing up of their Charter, the Commanderies pay allegiance to the Grand Conseil du Vin de Bordeaux.


Bound to respect certain rituals, the Commanderies de Bordeaux are made up of both wine enthusiasts and professionals from the wine trade who meet in their respective countries to increase their knowledge and appreciation of the various appellations in the Bordeaux wine region.


Lectures, tasting sessions, informal talks are all organised by the Commanderies to make potential customers more aware of the different qualities of Bordeaux wines.



The range of their activities depends on the personalities of the individual members, although anything involved with Bordeaux wine and its environment, whether it be in a light-hearted, cultural or any other aspect is privileged.


Every member is inducted as a “Commandeur” and receives a diploma and a medal from whomever has been appointed by the Grand Conseil du Vin de Bordeaux to hold the office of “Maître” or in other words the chairman or president. The Maître is always a highly respected person and can in no circumstances be a wine professional.


In essence, the Commanderies are embassies of Bordeaux wine. On an international scale, they play the important role of relaying information and passing on their enthusiasm about Bordeaux wine. The Commanderies also help setting permanent relationships between Bordeaux and the countries where Commanderies are established.


We are proud to be aligned with this wonderful French wine region in South Africa, a country that has drawn substantial influence from Bordeaux in the quality of wine and knowledge of our wine makers, critics and personalities.