Julia Sewell wins UK Ruinart Challenge 2017

05 June, 2017

Julia Sewell from celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal's restauraunt, The Fat Duck has won the UK Ruinart Challenge 2017.

The Ruinart Challenge, previously known as Ateliers Ruinart, is an international training and mentoring programme committed to supporting Sommelier wine education.

Sewell will join 13 other Sommeliers from the eight worldwide Ruinart Challenge final days at a four-day educational trip to France in July, hosted by Ruinart’s chef Frédéric Panaïotis.

Sewell said: “I’m so excited to have won. I’m looking forward to the absorption of much knowledge during my trip to France, and the opportunity to network with the winners from other countries - who will also be people who really care about what they do.”

Sewell is junior assistant head Sommelier at The Fat Duck and she saw off competition from 19 other finalists to take top spot in the blind tasting which featured four rosé wines.

The Art School Restaurant’s Jitka Auermüllerová and Blagoy Kuzmanski were both awarded runners-up, meaning two of the top three positions went to female Sommeliers.

Sewell added: “I’ve come to associate this Champagne House with education. I’ve competed previously in the Australian Ruinart Challenge, as well as in the UK last year when I first moved over.

“The seminar given by Frédéric Panaïotis is what keeps drawing me back. The subject is different each time and so detailed and technical.  Frédéric is very good at the scientific explanations and at not dumbing down the content.”

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