New Zealand Winegrowers has announced the three successful UK and Ireland sommeliers chosen to participate in this year's Sommit Scholarship.
The programme – taking place in New Zealand in Jan and Feb of next year – includes two aptly named 'sommits' (somm, summit, get it?), with recipients attending one of the two events.
Hosted by Cameron Douglas MS and Stephen Wong MW, the sommits are aimed specifically at the interests of the sommeliers, diving deep into the wine-knowledge-barrel, and including little-known aspects on New Zealand wine.
Somms Julie Dupouy of Dublin's The Greenhouse Restaurant, James Payne of Scotland's Sandemans Restaurant at Fonab Castle Hotel, and Melody Wong of Dinner by Heston Blumenthal were all chosen to participate in the event.
The first sommit will be held on Waiheke Island, nicknamed the 'Island of Wine'. Following the sommit, attendees will then travel to the Aromatics Symposium in Nelson, before crossing the Cook Strait to Pinot Noir NZ 2017 in Wellington – a showcase for top New Zealand Pinot Noir.
The second somm summit takes place in Wairarapa and is preceded by a Classic Reds Symposium, held in Hawke's Bay, featuring Syrah, Cabernet and Merlot. Including a full day classic reds masterclass, the symposium will showcasing the best examples of these varieties.
'Following the inaugural sommit in 2016, New Zealand Winegrowers extended the scholarship to sommeliers working in the UK and Ireland,' said Chris Stroud, Europe's marketing manager. 'We had a huge number of high quality applicants. We are confident that Julie, James and Melody will be strong, influential and enthusiastic ambassadors for New Zealand wine in the UK and Ireland.'