Wine training remains an ‘untapped market’By Arabella Mileham
Strong demand for wine training across the hospitality, marketing and corporate sector is not being fulfilled, a leading wine educator has claimed.
Chilean wine trainer Raul Diaz, who set up his own wine education business, Wine Training Ltd, in May, says there is increasing demand for training that strikes a balance between being informative without being too intimidating or “know it all”.
“We opened the company because we saw there was a need for training that had competitive pricing,” he told the drinks business. “I wanted to fill that gap, and having worked for Jascots Wine Merchant, I knew the situation in London.”
He admitted that when he set up the company, he thought the client base would be split 80% between restaurants and bar training staff with around 20% from other businesses and consultancy work, but he had found an untapped demand for wine marketing classes for PR companies, catering companies as well as corporate clients such as international banks.
“I honestly didn’t think it would develop that quickly or be so diverse. I was positive and confident things would go in this direction but it’s been a lot better [than I had envisaged],” he said. “What we needed was to create a company with a different approach but we also wanted to strike a good balance between the wine school and a consultancy.”
The business is now divided equally between training and consultancy work, with Diaz helping clients with events both in London and internationally.
He is also currently working on a series of wine training classes that will be run in collaboration with a new £10m cookery school, which is set to open in the New Year. He said was a “big challenge” for the new company.
Because of the increased demand, Diaz is accelerating his business plan for the next 18 months and is set to take on several new members of staff.
A former sommelier in Michelin starred restaurants, luxury cruise lines and boutique hotels, Diaz spend four years working at Jascots Wine Merchants, where he developed its in-house wine training department. This provided training support not only for customer’s restaurant staff but also the Jascot’s own team, and was credited for boosted its company’s ability to sell more obscure wines and grow its foothold in the fine wine sector.