Northeast sommelier listed in UK's Top 100

Northeast sommelier listed in UK’s Top 100

Vanessa Stoltz, head sommelier at Pine, in Northumberland, discovered recently at an awards evening held at the Great Scotland Yard Hotel, that she had been listed at number 45 in the second edition of the UK Top 100 Sommeliers, she was also highlighted as one of five ones to watch, and was the only sommelier that featured in the list to represent the region.

The annual Top 100 Sommelier Awards are designed to applaud the art and excellence of those professionals who epitomise service excellence in wine. Nominees for the annual rankings are put forward by fellow sommeliers, industry peers, and diners across the UK. Then an expert panel of judges considers the nominee’s experience, career and educational achievements, day-to-day responsibilities, and performance in competitions.

These results are then assessed by an expert panel of judges to accurately determine each sommelier’s professional successes, which are then benchmarked against a set of criteria to allocate a score to each sommelier and an appropriate ranking.

The 2024 list welcomed 38 new entries, with 24% of the Top 100 Sommeliers represented by women, 39% of those working outside London, with Vanessa among their number.

Angeline Bayly, the co-founder of Top 100 Sommeliers, commented: ‘’Throughout the interviews, we conducted this year there were an impressive array of highly qualified individuals, some with extraordinary backgrounds as diverse as law, astrophysics, engineering and of course oenology. Overall, the professionalism, high-level drinks knowledge, and dedication to hospitality were very evident. Being a top sommelier today is a highly qualified, skilled career, and we have the results to prove it.’’

Vanessa who previously joined the Master Court of Sommeliers in 2023, having passed both her Introductory and Certified Sommelier exams, remarked:

‘’To be a successful sommelier, you must develop in-depth knowledge of the subject and keep up to date with emerging trends across the industry, covering all aspects of beverage service from wine, beer, spirits and sake to no and low alcohol alternatives. That way you can help to inform your guests and ensure that their experience with you is the best it can be. In my view, a successful sommelier requires passion, dedication, and hard work, which is something that is all too often underestimated and overlooked. Happily, awards, like this, help to shape the role of the sommelier and highlight that it is a professional career that can be hugely rewarding and also play a part in helping to develop you as an individual and as a team member.’’

Sian Byerley Pine’s co-owner and restaurant manager commented: ‘’We’re proud of what Vanessa has achieved. Lots of hard work, avid studying, and dedication have paid off. Her recognition by industry peers is huge and acknowledges her real passion for wine and her expertise. All of us look forward to seeing her continue to share her love for the grape in all its forms with our guests as her wine journey continues to unfold.’’

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