Working in Wine
It’s English wine week and a bank holiday so Friday is about wine.
We spoke to Pippa who is a Travel & Corporate Account Manager at Corney & Barrow, an independent wine merchant. She is a connoisseur to say the least. If you’re looking for a weekend tipple, we’ve got you covered. She also tells us how she ended up working in wine from a degree in Fine Art.
Working in Wine
I’m Pippa and I am a Sales Account Manager at Corney & Barrow, one of two of the oldest wine merchants in the UK. I have been in the wine industry for nearly 6 years, after graduating university in 2013, and I absolutely love it! Having done a degree in Fine Art, it wasn’t an obvious move to go into the world of wine but after struggling at university to really love what my course had entailed, I thought I would try something new, yet something I already had a passion for.
After graduating, I spent the summer working at a winery in Surrey doing jobs around the vineyard which gave me a good base knowledge. I then found a three month course in the south of France where I could learn French and work at a winery at the same time, I learnt a lot during this time but am still awful at speaking French! On my return home to the UK, I did a short 2 week wine course (WSET) to give me a formal qualification and then the job hunt began!
I started work at a small wine merchant based in Fulham as their sales support team, I then worked my way up in to the sales team as an account manager within year. I learnt a lot from my sales support role, it gave me a great base and I learnt how to engage with customers – nothing wrong with starting at the bottom! During this time I also did a two year part time Diploma in Wine & Spirits; after university I never thought I’d do another formal course, but I’m so glad I did as it really helped me to realise my potential.
After two and a half years I moved companies to Corney & Barrow. This was a larger company where I felt I had more room to grow, a decision I certainly don’t regret!
If I had the chance to go back and give myself some advice at the end of my degree, it’s that the world is your oyster! Your degree doesn’t have to tie you into one thing, you can take your passions and do anything with them. No one really cares what grades you get, as long as you are passionate and are committed to the job, you’ll be flying.
See Pippa’s English wine suggestions below…
Cheap & Cheerful
Food matches: Great for Summer drinking and with light dishes such as salads, seafood, fish and chicken. These also works well with spicy dishes.
Chapel Down Flint Dry, Kent – £8.99 *on offer
From the famous Chapel Down winery. Aromatic white with aromas of green apple, melon and elderflower. Lovely and fresh, perfect for Summer drinking!
Stanlake Park Regatta, Berkshire – £8.99
Another lovely English wine, great for Summer drinks. This is dry and well-balanced, with a rich fragrant nose, crisp freshness on the palate and a long finish.
Made in partnership between Waitrose and leading English wine estate Denbies, in Surrey. This is full of aromatic lime and grapefruit and ripe apple and lychee fruit on the palate.
Chapel Down English Rosé – £9.99 *on offer
From the famous Chapel Down winery. This excellent rosé shows pure strawberry aromas on the nose and the palate follows through with juicy, fruity notes of strawberry and red fruits.
Food matches: Great for a celebratory mood! Delicious on it’s own as an aperitif or with fish, seafood, chicken and salad dishes.
This is made from 80% Seyval Blanc and 20% Pinot Noir, which grow well in the UK. Lovely and dry with elegant elderflower, lime and greengage fruit flavours
Small in scale, high in ambition, the boutique winery Ambriel based in West Sussex sets the quality bar high. This is an elegant English sparkling wine, bright and fine, with ripe cox apple and pear flavours, creamy summer berries and notes of brioche.
Ambriel’s light, succulent, sparkling rosé is made from 90% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Noir in the traditional method of Champagne. A delicate rose-petal colour, the wine wraps subtle wild strawberry and ripe redcurrant characters in refined bubbles, lifted by a crisp apple, succulent finish.
N.B. Please enjoy your wine this weekend but make sure you enjoy it in moderation. A recent study in Spain showed that drinking 2 – 7 glasses of wine per week led to less depression. But higher weekly consumption actually contributed to depression. Moderation is key!