Acorns 2018: Romain Bourger, head sommelier, the Vineyard

01 June 2018 by
Acorns 2018: Romain Bourger, head sommelier, the Vineyard

Head sommelier, the Vineyard, Stockcross

Nominator Chris Smith, F&B manager

Proudest moment "Coming second in the International Young Sommelier competition, representing the UK."

Biggest inspiration "My previous head sommelier, Yohann Jousselin MS. I worked with him when I was preparing for my Sommelier Diploma and he encouraged me to enter exams."

Ambition "Within the next five years, to become wine director for a hotel group overseeing wine-buying, the wine programme, staff training and so on."

Indeed, it's down to him that average spend per head has increased and that a 70% gross profit has been maintained year on year. Among his initiatives to increase guest loyalty, Bourger offers themed wine masterclasses and educational tours of the cellars. He has also initiated a retail wine programme at the hotel, resulting in a revenue fillip of £20,000 in 2017.

Bourger has achieved the advanced level of the Court of Master Sommelier and level 2 of the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) qualification. Staff turnover in his team has never gone above 25% and he encourages all to complete WSET level 1, with senior employees completing WSET level 2. He also pushes his team to enter awards, resulting in the head barman being nominated for Bar Manager of the Year for Boutique Hotelier and a sommelier being selected for the MÁ¶et Educational Tour & Award.

His personal triumphs include winning Young Sommelier of the Year for ChaÁ®ne des Rôtisseurs, being runner-up for International Young Sommelier of the Year and third in the MÁ¶et UK Sommelier of the Year.

As one of the judges said: "He has come such a long way, professionally and personally."

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