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 wines has perhaps never been more crucial to a somm’s body of knowledge.
Fortunately, New Zealand Winegrowers is offering sommeliers the opportunity to experience New Zealand wine firsthand through the New Zealand Wine Sommelier Scholarship, which is now accepting applications from somms from the UK, Ireland and mainland Europe.
Successful applicants will join sommeliers from Australia, Asia, Canada, New Zealand and the USA at the 2019 Sommit in Hawke’s Bay on 25-26 January for an in-depth look at the regions, varieties and lesser known aspects of New Zealand wine.
The Sommit will be hosted by Stephen Wong MW and Ronan Sayburn MS with just 20 sommelier attendees, promising an intimate look at the country’s offerings and ample opportunities for networking and community building.
But the experience doesn’t end at the Sommit – scholars will also attend the 2019 Sauvignon Blanc Celebration in Marlborough, the Chardonnay & Sparkling Symposium in Gisborne and a number of other activities and tastings.
‘Our objective is that these sommeliers will become true ambassadors for New Zealand wine, sharing personal wine discoveries and insights from their trips with restaurant guests and the wider sommelier community,’ explains Chris Stroud, marketing manager for New Zealand Winegrowers Europe.
To apply for the scholarship, fill out the online form here by 24 August 2018. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to take part in interviews in September 2018.