Close Menu

‘Best UK Sommelier 2024’ crowned

The winner of this year’s Best UK Sommelier 2024 Villa Sandi Award has been announced, with a team member at one of the most prestigious businesses in the wine sector taking home the title.

The competition, held at Haberdashers’ Hall in Central London, saw the candidates undertake a series of tasks. In the morning, the participating sommeliers took a written exam, did a blind tasting, and wine pairings as assessed by members of the UK Sommelier Association and AIS. After this, the candidates were whittled down to just three semi-finalists.

In the afternoon, the semi-finalists took to the stage where they were judged on their service skills, with other sommeliers, former champions, buyers and journalists acting as customers. Here they were not just assessed on their wine knowledge and decanting technique, but also, crucially, on their ability to communicate.

After deliberation from the judging panel, it has now been announced that the overall winner is Nick Kemball, senior experiences executive at Berry Bros. & Rudd, the historic wine merchant.

The first runner-up was Stefan Kobald, head sommelier at Core by Clare Smyth, and the second runner-up was Juan Manuel Marcos Perez, premium account manager at Bibendum Wine.

Kemball, as winner, received a cup, sash, magnum of Prosecco offered by the main sponsor Villa Sandi, a trip to Venice (with a visit to the Villa Sandi estate), and a £1000 cheque offered by the UKSA. Kobald and Marcos received a cup, a magnum of Prosecco, and a £250 award each.

In a LinkedIn post from the Berry Bros. & Rudd account, the company toasted Kemball’s success: “Anyone who’s been to a wine tasting hosted by Nick will know he is brilliant at conveying his knowledge; nevertheless, this is still an incredible achievement, beating talented competitors from three-star Michelin restaurants. Congratulations Nick; fortunately, you’ll know just the perfect wine to pair with this celebration.”

It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No