Writing has been a constant theme throughout my career. I have contributed on a freelance basis to national newspapers and many magazines over the years on travel, design, food and wine, including Decanter, Wine International, Harpers wine trade magazine, The Times, Traveller, Condé Nast Traveller, Sunday Business, The Independent, The European and The Illustrated London News.
(I started out with a degree in Medieval Studies & English from Exeter University and joined Bonhams Fine Art Auctioneers, moving on to establish an antique furniture business and to write about period interiors for Traditional Homes magazine.)
I became captivated by wine in 1994 and embarked on a wine career,initially in PR, at Peretti Communications (The Champagne Bureau and Côtes de Roussillon) in 1995. I gained my WSET Diploma with distinction in 1997 and made my first trip to Burgundy, which instilled a curiosity about the region and its wine. My path then took a New World turn as I went on to consult on such projects as the launch of The Vineyard at Stockcross (top flight Californian wine).
Over the following three years I travelled widely in the New World interviewing producers and writing articles to develop a global knowledge of wine. I worked vintages in New Zealand (with Dr. Neil McCallum at Dry River in Martinborough), and in Burgundy developing my love of Pinot Noir. I joined John Armit Wines as their new world buyer in 2000 with the enviable task of developing a New World portfolio.
Over the period of 2000-2003 Clive Coates became my MW tasting mentor. This gave me the opportunity to taste many vintages of top Burgundy and Bordeaux. In 2003 I passed my MW exams and decided to refocus on the Old World by spending February and March 2004 in Burgundy to research my MW dissertation on the Pinot Noir clones of the Côte d’Or. This work gained a Distinction (only the fourth to be awarded) and I became a Master of Wine in 2004. Soon after, I launched the Burgundy Briefing.