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Pontifex Scholarship 2015 open for entries

Wine Australia and The Daniel Pontifex Memorial Trust have opened the 2015 Daniel Pontifex Scholarship to find the next big name in hospitality.

The Scholarship recognises the passion and enthusiasm of tomorrow’s leading hospitality professionals, rewarding them with a place on Wine Australia’s trade and press visit to Australia in November.

Laura Jewell MW, David Gleave and Rowley Leigh will sit on the judging panel, alongside past winner Alessandro Marchesan who described his scholarship as ‘one of the greatest experiences of my life’.

Daniel Pontifex, whom the scholarship commemorates, was killed in a car accident during his employment at Kensignton Place Restaurant in London. He had previously worked in Adelaide, Australia.

Each alternate year a scholarship winner from the UK and Australia respectively are invited to experience the hospitality sector in the contrasting country. This provides them with direct access to influential industry leaders and offers first-hand insights into the international world of wine.

Alessandro Marchesan, a past winner of the scholarship, said: “The opportunity to travel around Australia’s best wine regions, to meet and work with the best winemakers and to have some working experiences in some of the best restaurants boosted not only my knowledge but also gave me great confidence to carry on with my career.

Wine Australia regional director Laura Jewell MW, said: “Enthusiasm and a genuine interest in wine will be more important to the panel than academic background or literary merit.

“We look forward to celebrating Australia’s vibrant wine industry with the lucky winner and helping develop their career with this unique experience.”

The winner of the scholarship will receive funding towards travel, insurance, accommodation and expenses.

Last year the Daniel Pontifex Scholarship was awarded to Alexander Kirkwood, sommelier at Rockpool Bar and Grill Sydney.

To enter, applicants are invited to submit a short essay of 500 to 750 words explaining why they believe they are a suitable candidate, together with an abridged biography.

Applicants are expected to have a strong interest in wine and may work in any area of hospitality.

Submissions should be made by email to by Friday 31 July, 2015.

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