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Candice Chow at Sommit 2019

Sommit 2019

The New Zealand Winegrowers Sommelier Sommit Scholarship is a global initiative with sommeliers from around the world who travel to New Zealand  to participate. I was lucky enough to be invited as one of the 18 sommeliers to participate in an intensive two days learning about New Zealand wines.

L-R Luca Gagliardi, Pierchic Restaurant (Dubai), Melania Battiston, 28-50 Wine Workshop & Kitchen (London), Emma Ziemann, Thörnströms Kök (Sweden) and Candice Chow, Go To Collection (Queenstown)

The first official day of Sommit™2019 was held at the Paritua Winery in Hawkes Bay and hosted by Stephen Wong MW from Wellington and Ronan Sayburn MS from London.  

There was a full day of tasting wines with flights of New Zealand Riesling, Chardonnay (new and older vintages), Syrah + alternative varieties and Pinot Noir (new and older vintages). These wines showed a broad range of quality New Zealand wines and provided insights about different aspects and wine styles. 

After tasting wines from  9am to 5pm, we went back to our hotel to refresh ourselves and were then picked up by five gorgeous vintage vehicles to take us to Millar Road, a stunning accommodation and wine estate overlooking the Pacific Ocean. We were blessed with beautiful  weather.

All 20 sommeliers brought a favourite wine to share, it was a great conversation starter. I brought a bottle of Valli Waitaki Chardonnay 2015 which impressed many. We enjoyed a barbeque dinner at a long table set up on a green lawn, next to the vines and the sea. Shared our wine and chatter. What a wonderful memory!

It was an amazing experience to have met such a diverse group of sommeliers and to share the love of wine.

Everyone loved the hospitality,  the wine and our beautiful landscapes.

Massive thanks to NZ Winegrowers for this amazing opportunity! I would highly recommend sommeliers from around the world apply for the NZ Sommit™scholarship in 2020.

Candice Chow

Group Beverage Manager, Go To Collection