Juliet Urquhart joins The Oyster Box as the new Sommelier, fresh from a year’s working experience as the Beverage Director and Delmonico Room Manager, at Relais et Chateaux property, Hotel Fauchere Milford in Pennsylvania, USA.
Juliet’s educational trajectory includes a BSc. in Microbiology and Biochemistry from the University of Cape Town, a post graduate diploma in Marketing Management from the University of Cape Town, a Certificate in Wine Evaluation and Tasting from the University of Stellenbosch and various qualifications toward her Diploma from the Cape Wine Academy. She will complete her Diploma studies at the end of 2014 to begin her Cape Wine Master certification. International training through a Master Sommelier and The Guild of Sommeliers in America, provided solid career markers in her chosen field.
Additional work experience has been gained working at all levels of her profession; from getting her hands dirty as a Harvesting Assistant at Cape Point Vineyards in Noordhoek, to working as a Wine Sales Assistant at Wildekrans Wine Estate in Hermanus and her encounter as a Trainee Sommelier Anchor at Singita Sabi Sands.
“I am passionate about my work,” says Juliet. “Guest enjoyment and giving diners an exceptional wine experience is the prime focus of my job. Showcasing the quality of South African wines and sharing this with guests, is also a thrill for me. When diners thank me for making their evening special and memorable because of their food and wine experience, I go home happy. In addition, l love being able to put together a wine list that is not only award-winning, but that has my personal mark on it.”
Being shy by nature, Juliet found the role of Sommelier very challenging in the beginning, as interacting with people is a fundamental part of the job. Now she says she “loves it” and describes her job as entertaining, fullfilling and inspiring. Future plans include consulting on wine lists for hotels, restaurants and bars, travelling to learn as much as possible and ultimately retiring to her own wine farm!