2019 NZ Sommelier Scholarships announced

Ireland’s Ely Restaurant Group is among 18 successful sommeliers chosen to participate in the 2019 New Zealand Winegrowers International Sommelier Scholarship from New Zealand Winegrowers.

The Scholarship is a global initiative with sommeliers from Australia, Asia, Canada, Europe, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Arab Emirates, the UK and the US all eligible to participate.

Limited to just 20 attendees, the two-day ‘Sommit’ will be hosted in Hawke’s Bay on the 25th & 26th January 2019 by NZ Master of Wine Stephen Wong and UK Master Sommelier Ronan Sayburn. Sommit is a closed-door sommelier-only event and a very different kind of tasting that’s directed by the attendees based on what they taste in the glass.

This event celebrates the lesser-known aspects of New Zealand wine with particular emphasis on the facets that resonate with the sommelier community and is just one part of an intensive 11-day programme including the International Sauvignon Blanc Celebration in Marlborough and the Chardonnay and Sparkling Wine symposium in Gisborne.

“At the end of their experience we hope the scholars will share personal wine discoveries and insights from their trip with their customers and the wider sommelier community” explained New Zealand Winegrowers’ Global Marketing Director Chris Yorke, “something we simply cannot replicate in a classroom. We look forward to them becoming true ambassadors for New Zealand wine.”

To date, the New Zealand Winegrowers Sommelier Scholarship has hosted five Sommit events for 79 sommeliers from 15 countries.

Previous Sommit events have seen a marked increase in listings of New Zealand wines in top international restaurants.

New Zealand wine is exported to more than 90 countries and total exports reached $1.7billion in 2018.


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