A World of Wine Education at the UK’s Wine Hotel in Berkshire
31 May 2018
- WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) Qualifications
- Judgement of Paris Tasting Dinner
- Back to the Vine Anniversary Event
- Meet the sommelier – Marie Clothilde Konecny Dardel
This year, the UK’s wine hotel celebrates its 20th anniversary. The Vineyard Hotel in Berkshire is an oenophile’s dream and has been aged to perfection. The Vineyard also offers many wine education opportunities including professional qualifications, tasting dinners and events. Every guest will learn something about wine while enjoying one of the greatest pleasures from wine – socialising.
WSET – The Vineyard Hotel has the highest pass rate for WSET qualifications. Those interested in furthering their knowledge in wine can attend WSET courses at the hotel. Both levels 1 and 2 run throughout the year. Founded in 1969 to help educate wine and spirit professionals, the WSET specialise in courses for wine enthusiasts. The course lasts a whole day and ends with an examination. Once wine lovers have already successfully passed Level 1, they can raise a glass in celebration and consider furthering their wine education with Level 2 which runs over two days.
Judgement of Paris Tasting Dinner – The Judgement of Paris (or the Paris Wine Tasting of May 24 1976) is seen as one of the most pivotal moments in wine history. A blind wine tasting of French and Californian wines, nearly forty years ago, that forever changed the future of winemaking when unknown Californian wines were chosen over some of France’s finest by some of France’s top wine aficionados. Organised by British wine merchant Steven Spurrier, excellent Californian Chardonnays and Cabernet Sauvignons were tasted alongside white Burgundies and Bordeaux reds. For Californian winemakers—and for winemakers around the world—the event transformed the industry.
Here, in an atmosphere devoted to gastronomy, guests may recreate their very own blind tasting with wines matched to each of seven courses prepared by British chef Robby Jenks. Traditionally a French and Californian glass are served with each course and the diner decides which they prefer. Each Judgement of Paris dinner also includes two blind taste tests to decide where the wine originates from; France or California. At the end of the dinner, guests raise a glass to California or to France. Which country gets your vote?
Back to the Vine – is the hotel’s headline event in 2018. Over 7 days, 7 chefs are welcomed back to The Vineyard. Each chef spent time shaping the culinary story of the hotel and all will join the current executive chef Robby Jenks between Monday 25th June and Sunday 1st July to prepare 7 unique menus. Priced between £90 and £150 including four – five courses and a wine pairing.
Monday 25th June – Shay Cooper / Tuesday 26th June – Nathan Outlaw
Wednesday 27th June – Matt Gillan / Thursday 28th June – Richard Davies
Friday 29th June – John Campbell / Saturday 30th June – Daniel Galmiche /
Sunday 1st July – Billy Reid
Meet the Sommelier – The Vineyard Hotel is home to six sommeliers from around the world. The team of sommeliers is lead by Romain Bourger who has won many awards including Young Sommerlier of the Year and Moet UK Sommelier Of The Year, Regional Competition. Marie Clothilde Konecny Dardel is one of three female sommeliers at The Vineyard Hotel. Marie has achieved WSET level 2 and Master Sommelier level 1. Marie comments on her favourite wines; “I find it very difficult to pick a favourite wine, it can vary depending on my mood and taste, especially when the world is so big and full of surprises. Usually I will go for a powerful and rich red wine from the Rhone Valley in France or a rich and complex white wine like old Chardonnay from California.” Asked about where her passion for wine comes from Marie comments; “I’m from a small wine region and when I grew up I realised how wine can be so mysterious and full of surprises. It’s a big part of my job to have the knowledge about wine to make the journey of the guest even more surprising.”
The Vineyard Hotel is home to 49 bedrooms, an award winning restaurant and five bubble rated spa with indoor pool. There are over 30,000 bottle of wine in the cellars.
As guests arrive at The Vineyard Hotel, they are greeted with a huge canvas (‘After the Upset’) of the legendary 1976 Judgement of Paris commissioned by Sir Peter Michael in honour of the event. This is the beginning of any wine education. Cheers to learning more about the world of wines.
Eat. Sleep. And drink wine.
The Vineyard, Stockcross, Newbury, Berkshire RG20 8JU 01635 897589
Accommodation and breakfast is priced from £255 based on two guests.