The Daniel Pontifex Memorial Trust, with the support of Wine Australia, has awarded The Daniel Pontifex Scholarship 2017 to Felipe Carvallo, Wine Advisor at Berry Bros. & Rudd in London.
Felipe Carvallo, from fine wine and spirits merchant Berry Bros. & Rudd, was selected by a panel of judges including Laura Jewell MW, Wine Australia; Michael Hill Smith MW, Shaw + Smith; Alessandro Marchesan, Zonin UK; and writer and Chef-Consultant Rowley Leigh.
His prize, a trip to Australia to explore the country’s renowned food and wine culture and learn more about the trade, is scheduled for late 2018. Felipe has Australian roots on his mother’s side, but hasn’t been to Australia since he was eight years old and this will be his first trip to the wine regions.
The scholarship, which has been running since 1998, recognises and celebrates the efforts and enthusiasm of tomorrow’s leading hospitality professionals. The award commemorates Daniel Pontifex who died in a car accident during his employment at Kensington Place Restaurant in London. Daniel had previously worked in Adelaide with Shaw + Smith’s Michael Hill Smith MW who, along with Daniel’s family, went on to initiate the scholarship in his name.
Each alternate year, a scholarship winner from the UK and Australia respectively is invited to experience the trade in the contrasting country, providing them with direct access to influential sector leaders and first-hand insights into the international world of food and wine.
In the Events and Education team at Berry Bros. & Rudd, Felipe guides customers through the wine and spirit list, hosts food and wine events, and delivers wine courses. Felipe is looking forward to exploring regionality and learning about emerging trends and styles, as well as sharing his discoveries with customers after the trip. Felipe believes the experience will also stand him in good stead for the next part of the Master of Wine course.
Felipe Carvallo, winner of The Daniel Pontifex Scholarship 2017, said:
‘I'm delighted to have been awarded The Daniel Pontifex Scholarship 2017. The trip will be a fantastic opportunity to discover more about Australia, experience the food and wine sector first-hand, and I’m sure it will have a very positive impact on my current role and in my MW studies.’
Michael Hill Smith MW, Shaw + Smith and Tolpuddle Vineyard, said:
‘The quality of candidates was very high, but Felipe’s enthusiasm and professionalism shone through. The scholarship will allow him to travel to Australia and experience the vibrancy, diversity and excitement that is Australian wine today.’
Laura Jewell MW, Wine Australia Head of Market EMEA, said:
‘We look forward to sharing Australia’s vibrant food and wine culture with Felipe and helping to develop his career with this unique experience.’
The Daniel Pontifex Scholarship was last awarded in the UK in 2015 to Quinby Frey who works at Cambridge Wine Merchants.
Quinby Frey, Sales and Accounts Business Development Manager at Cambridge Wine Merchants, said:
‘I have completely loved how much I now have to discuss about Australian wine with customers since my trip and it’s been incredibly rewarding to see customers step out of their wine comfort zones and embrace Aussie wine. I learnt far more spending four weeks on the ground than I have in my last four years as a merchant and I am thankful for the amazing opportunity given to me to develop my knowledge further.’