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Home News > December 2018 > SWA Judges dominate Personality of the Year shortlist

Sommelier Wine Awards judges have dominated the wine and restaurant sections of this year’s Imbibe Personality of the Year. The POTY shortlist for 2019 was revealed yesterday and SWA judges featured strongly throughout, with a dozen nominations.

Every year the POTY shortlist sees a good number of judges from the Sommelier Wine Awards. But this year SWA judges dominated the newly-created Sommelier of the Year category, with seven of the eight nominations.

Senior Judges Julien Sahut (Sexy Fish) and Diana Rollan (D&D Group) both featured, as did newly appointed SWA Team Leader Jan Konetzki from Ten Trinity Square. 'I am honoured and humbled to be nominated as Imbibe Sommelier of the Year POTY 2019 alongside great people who I admire and respect.' said Julien Sahut

Core by Clare Smyth’s Gareth Ferreira, who has judged at SWA for most of the last six years was also nominated.

But the shortlist also featured a couple of somms who have signed up to SWA for the first time in 2019, Daniel Jonberger, from Rockliffe Hall in Country Durham, Sonal Clare from Purnells in Birmingham and Bert Blaize from The Mandrake in London.

Elsewhere in the competition there were nominations for Melody Wong (also Ten Trinity Square) and Melania Battiston (28-50 Mayfair) in the Hot Stuff category, designed at recognising emerging young talent.

Grape to Grain’s Harry Crowther and SWA Team Leading stalwart Tom Forrest received nominations for the Educator of the Year.

And, right at the top of the tree, Hakkasan’s Christine Parkinson, SWA’s Head of Judging made it onto the five-person shortlist for Industry Legend, an award which recognises influence and dedication over decades, not merely years.

‘It’s truly inspiring to see so many of our judges featuring across Personality of the Year,’ said competition director and Imbibe editor Chris Losh. ‘Judging at SWA is a great way to learn, meet your peers and get your name out there.

‘And as well as the sheer numbers on the Shortlist, we’re delighted to see the range of our judges getting the recognition that they deserve, from newcomers to those who’ve been with SWA for over ten years.’

The final Personality of the Year judging will take place over the next month, with the awards given out at an Awards Evening on February 4th