London-based sommelier wins prestigious scholarship to visit New Zealand

Jacopo Mazzeo

Jacopo Mazzeo

15 November 2018

Promotional body New Zealand Wine has awarded young sommelier Melania Battiston the prestigious New Zealand Winegrowers Sommelier Scholarship.

Battiston is currently head sommelier at 28°-50°, in Maddox Street, Mayfair, and is the scholarship’s only UK-based awardee.

Together with the 17 other winners from all corners of the world, she will be offered an intense 11-day programme of tasting, including the International Sauvignon Blanc Celebration in Marlborough and the Chardonnay and Sparkling Wine Symposium in Gisborne.

‘I’m really looking forward to the trip,' Battiston said. 'There’s so much more to New Zealand than Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.’

Her decision to apply for the scholarship sprung from her interest in getting an insight into the country’s lesser-known wine regions. She told Imbibe that ‘things like Kiwi Chardonnay or even Syrah are incredible value for money, and can represent an ideal alternative to classic Burgundy, which is skyrocketing in price’.

New Zealand Wine's global marketing director Chris Yorke said: ‘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 – something we simply cannot replicate in a classroom. We look forward to them becoming true ambassadors for New Zealand wine.’

Battiston is planning to make the most of the trip. 'After my return I’m going to organise themed tastings, masterclasses and hopefully I’ll even be able to bring some winemakers to the UK,’ she said.

Related content

News |  Wine

New Zealand Wine Sommelier Scholarship now accepting applications

Considering New Zealand wine’s continuous rapid growth – exports were up 3% in value in the last year – learning the ins and outs of the country’s win

News |  Wine

New Zealand sommelier summit extended to UK and Ireland

New Zealand Winegrowers has allocated three spaces to the UK and Ireland for its annual summit held with international sommeliers in New Zealand.The o

News |  Wine

New Zealand Winegrowers 'sommit' scholarships announced

New Zealand Winegrowers has announced the three successful UK and Ireland sommeliers chosen to participate in this year's Sommit Scholarship.The progr

News |  Wine

New Zealand wine exports up by 10%

Sharing similar export success as the UK (albeit on a somewhat different scale), global New Zealand wine exports are reported to be up by 10% in the l