South West Wine School has launched to deepen the offer of food and drink in the South West.
Founded by Jonathan and Hayley Reynolds, it is being supported by some of the biggest wine names in the region, including Susy Atkins, Liam Steevenson MW and Rebecca Mitchell DipWSET
Jonathan said: “South West Wine School will offer an exciting range of events and courses, whether you’d like to learn about wine one-to-one, as part of a group, to gain a professional WSET qualification or as an innovative corporate activity.”
Hayley added: “We are living through what has been described as the ‘West Country Renaissance’, as entrepreneurs, start-ups and tech companies flock to Devon, Somerset and Cornwall, attracted by the space, accessibility and enviable lifestyle on offer.
“Food and drink have always been an important draw to the region, but now producers and restaurateurs find themselves at the very heart of what’s happening.”
Following the launch at Dartmouth Food Festival in October, there will be a ‘Wise up on Wine’ Christmas event at Southernhay House in Exeter on Wednesday 5thDecember, and a Valentine’s Day ‘Speed Tasting’ at Kingston Estate near Staverton.
From January 2019 onwards, WSET level 1 and 2 courses will be held at Kenton Park Estate and Vineyard.
A series of shorter, fun and informal tastings will also take place regularly throughout the South West region with local wine experts and winemakers, visit for details.
For centuries the region has been a major importer of wines from France, Italy and beyond. Its flourishing hospitality scene attracts sophisticated clienteles from all over the world, with wine lists to match.
Even more important, the local map is now pinned with vineyards, which include Sharpham, Lyme Bay Winery, Langham Wine Estate, Knightor and, most recently, Kenton Park Estate, to mention just a few.
Devon-based Sunday Telegraph wine writer Susy Atkinsis one of the most popular and personable figures on the national drinks scene and will be making frequent appearances on behalf of South West Wine School.
She said: “Just as the South West’s hospitality scene has taken off in recent years, so have people become more interested in every aspect of wine.
“This is a subject that is constantly evolving, and I look forward to sharing my knowledge in a fun and relaxed environment, and best of all – right here in the South West.”
Liam Steevenson MWbecame the youngest Master of Wine in the world, at the age of 29.
He said: “Having been born and bred in this part of the world, I am delighted to be part of South West Wine School and help expand knowledge of this eternally fascinating subject.
“I particularly enjoy opening people’s minds to the wider world of wine and encouraging them to try and appreciate something new and different.“
Rebecca Mitchell DipWSETis a Certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers, and a Wine Educator for the Wine and Spirit Education Trust.
She said: “I have a passion for sharing my wine knowledge and the WSET courses offer a superb platform to learn about wine in a structured way.”
Rebecca has been in the wine trade for over twenty years having formerly worked in global wine tourism; she is now a respected wine consultant for award-winning hospitality venues in the West of England and further afield.
South West Wine School offers team building events which can be tailor-made for a group of ten up to 100, for a range of budgets.