The Buyer
Frescobaldi and IWSC give sommeliers unique opportunity

Frescobaldi and IWSC give sommeliers unique opportunity

If you stripped back any wine list to its core, best selling lines, then Italy would have to be one of the go to countries. Push a little further into Italy and then Tuscany would also come to the top. If you had to pick out a handful of producers within Tuscany, then the Frescobaldi family would come to the fore. Which is why the new Sommelier prize from the IWSC in partnership with Marchesi Frescobaldi is expected to be in big demand.

Richard Siddle
24th June 2018by Richard Siddle
posted in People,People: On-Trade,

If you love Tuscan wines then here’s your chance to prove it and have a chance of spending time with one of the region’s most iconic producers – the Frescobaldis – in new International Wine & Spirit Competition prize.

IWSC announces The Sommelier Prize 2018, proudly sponsored by Frescobaldi

  • A prestigious prize focused on Tuscany will be awarded to a talented sommelier or on-trade buyer
  • The prize will be donated by Marchesi Frescobaldi and administered by the IWSC and Hallgarten

Here’s a sommelier competition with a difference. The chance to win a prestigious prize with one of the world’s most famous wine producers, without the need to put yourself through a painstaking series of Britain’s Got Talent-style live presentations and performances. Instead all you have to do is to really show the passion you have for your job and in particular how much Italian wine means to you.

The International Wine & Spirit Competition has teamed up with Hallgarten Druitt & Novum Wines to present its new sommelier competition in partnership with Tuscany’s Marchesi Frescobaldi.

The Sommelier Prize is open to both UK-based sommeliers and on-trade buyers that can demonstrate a passion for wines from Tuscany. The winning candidate will then have the chance to travel to Tuscany and spend three days visiting the six estates of Marchesi Frescobaldi, tasting its many wines and meeting its winemakers and senior members of the Frescobaldi team.

The trip will also include a visit to the island of Gorgona to explore the story of Frescobaldi’s Gorgona initiative, where Italian prisoners are employed in the vineyard and winery.

The winning sommelier or on-trade buyer will also get the chance to visit the island of Gorgona

The winner will also then have the chance to lead a tasting of Frescobaldi wines at a major international wine fair, alongside Hallgarten and the IWSC. They will also be able to take advantage of ongoing support from the IWSC and Hallgarten to promote Frescobaldi wines in their business, and be invited to become a panellist at the IWSC 2019 judging sessions.

Adam Lechmere, general manager of the IWSC, said he was delighted to be able to offer this opportunity to a leading sommelier on on-trade wine buyer. He said: “It’s absolutely wonderful to be associated with a winery of such renowned eminence as Frescobaldi, and with this wonderful prize, which is a fabulous opportunity for any ambitious sommelier or on-trade buyer. The opportunity to visit all of Frescobaldi’s beautiful Tuscan estates, plus the fascinating story of the island of Gorgona, is not one to be missed.”

How to enter

To enter the competition entrants simply have to:

  • send in a wine list they have created and currently control
  • write a 200-word essay titled “Why I love Tuscany”.

Candidates will then be judged on the following criteria:

  • Immersion into and interest in Italian wines
  • An understanding of the wines of Tuscany and a demonstrable attempt to create a wine list or buying list of wines that champion the wines of Tuscany
  • An interest in expanding their education and knowledge of the wines of Tuscany

Entries are open until July 13 and the winner of the competition will be announced at the IWSC Awards Banquet on 14 November 2018. Send your wine list and 200-word essay to Please note that the competition is only open to UK-based sommeliers and on-trade buyers.