Guide to life of luxuries

Xolani Mancotywa
Xolani Mancotywa

Wits University BCom graduate Xolani Mancotywa is a former brand ambassador of Moét & Chandon and Hennessy, a trained chef and UK-certified sommelier who has worked in exotic locations in the United Arab Emirates and the Maldives.

He was recently appointed to a top executive position as private clients manager for Moét Hennessy SA's portfolio of luxury brands.

What does your job entail?

We have created this new position to deliver dedicated, personalised service that private clients can trust to expand their knowledge around fine beverages and facilitate privileged access to Moét Hennessy's portfolio of brands.

From a business graduate to the world of wine and food, how did this change happen?

It was curiosity. I initially set out to become a chef. While completing a Commis Chef diploma at Warwicks' Chef School in Hermanus, the students in my class noted aromas of green pepper and asparagus in a glass of sauvignon blanc. I was fascinated and decided on a whim to refine my palate and take the Cape Sommelier course at the Cape Wine Academy, a decision which would prove to be pivotal.

What has been the most memorable highlight of your career?

Becoming a Certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers in the UK; the experience led to my current appointment.

What is your motto?

"If someone offers you an amazing opportunity and you're not sure you can do it, say yes - then learn how to do it later." (Richard Branson quote.)

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