Many people ask me how I got involved in wine and how I became a Master of Wine – so here it is.
I didn’t grow up surrounded by wine but I did grow up with a keen sense of smell, a strong sensory memory and a vivid imagination. My first love (apart from family and animals) was travel. As a young woman I travelled to Italy and didn’t come home for a few years.
My travels took me to magical Sicily, followed by Bari and then unforgettable Naples. In Italy, we always drank wine. In restaurants there were 3 glasses for each person, one for white wine, one for red and one for water. At the time this seemed luxuriously extravagant but it’s a practice I try to follow now whenever possible. I developed a love for the wildly characterful Southern Italian grape varieties such as Fiano di Avellino, Greco di Tufo and Aglianico.
Eventually I came home, changed jobs and later began what Jancis Robinson has aptly described as “the vinous equivalent of climbing Mount Everest”. The first time I heard the words ‘Master of Wine’ something clicked for me and I made the unusually bold statement, “I’m going to be a Master of Wine”.
Following my passion for wine and learning has taken me all over the world and I’m still learning. Sharing and passing on some of my knowledge and insights about wine has become a very gratifying part of my work.