Saturday 20 October 2018

Meet the first woman in Australia to achieve Master Sommelier diploma

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Jane Lopes, wine director of Attica in Melbourne, has been awarded the highly prestigious Master Sommelier Diploma at examinations held by The Court of Master Sommeliers Americas in St. Louis, Missouri (USA). She is the first female residing within the Oceania region to achieve the diploma and one of just 34 female Master Sommeliers worldwide.

Jane Lopes MS says, “The Master Sommelier diploma represents the highest commitment to hospitality and wine service and I’m thrilled and honoured to be awarded this distinction.

“Being the first female Master Sommelier in Australia and one of only 34 female Master Sommeliers worldwide, I welcome the opportunity to be able to support and encourage the next generation of sommeliers, while continuing to better myself and our industry.”

Franck Moreau MS, cCo-ordinator of the Court of Master Sommeliers Oceania, says, “This follows on from Leanne Altmann (Supernormal) achieving the title of Dux at the recent Advanced Sommelier Certificate examinations in Sydney.

“There is enormous sommelier talent in Australia, and we’re thrilled to be able to support the wonderful achievements of our graduates as well as help educate the next generation of top sommeliers in the Oceania region.”

Ben Hasko MS, Court of Master Sommeliers Oceania, says, “Achieving the Master Sommelier diploma demonstrates the exemplary standard of knowledge, service skills, and hospitality which is required of the certification.

“Preparing for the Master diploma requires enormous dedication, sacrifice and commitment and Jane’s achievement will no doubt inspire a new generation of sommeliers as they work towards the highly prestigious Master Sommelier diploma.”

Jane Lopes began her career in wine working at LUSH, a Chicago-based boutique wine, beer and spirits shop and the nationally-acclaimed cocktail bar, The Violet Hour. It was also in Chicago that she began her studies with The Court of Master Sommeliers.

In 2011, Jane moved to Nashville to take up the role of beverage director for the opening of The Catbird Seat, a restaurant which opened to national acclaim. Her unique style of creating pairings and approach to her beverage program there were featured in The New York Times, Imbibe, Wine Enthusiast and Architectural Digest, as well as other local and national media outlets.

Jane moved to New York in 2013 and in 2014 she began working as a sommelier at the highly acclaimed Eleven Madison Park. During her tenure, the restaurant was named The World’s #1 Restaurant on The San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants List and Awards. In February 2017, Jane was recruited to run the beverage program at Attica and relocated to Melbourne where she remains to this day.

In September Jane passed the rigorous Master Sommelier examination. Jane holds a Bachelor of Arts in Renaissance Literature from the University of Chicago. Her first book, an illustrative and personal guide to the world of wine, will be published in Australia in August 2019.

The Court of Master Sommeliers was established in 1977 to promote excellence in hotel and restaurant beverage services. The intensive education and examination program guides aspiring Master Sommeliers through four increasingly rigorous levels of coursework and examinations, culminating in the highly prestigious Master Sommelier diploma examination.

The first Court of Master Sommelier courses were held in Australia in 2008. Since then in Australia more than 1,000 students have participated in the examinations resulting in: 646 Introductory Sommelier graduates, 285 Certified Sommelier graduates, 37 Advanced Level Sommeliers and just six who have attained the title of Master Sommelier: Franck Moreau MS (Merivale), Sebastian Crowther MS (Real Wines), Benjamin Hasko MS (Luxury Beverage Group), Adrian Filiuta (Merivale), Jonathan Ross (Rockpool Dining Group) and Jane Lopes (Attica).

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