Dec 07: Sonal Holland, India’s most qualified and acclaimed wine professional as first and only Master of Wine, the most prestigious title in the world of wines with a present count of 356 Masters of Wine across 29 countries, has been on our List of Top Ten WOW in India twice, even before receiving the title and continues to be on the List for the third time
An award-winning wine broadcaster, WSET-certified wine educator, consultant and entrepreneur, Sonal Holland is the Founder of SoHo Wine Club that specializes in bringing an expertly curated collection of wines from around the globe, tutored tastings and finely curated wine experiences to highly discerning wine consumers in India.
Sonal founded Sonal Holland Wine Academy in 2009, which today is India’s foremost institution offering certified WSET wine courses and consultancy to leading hotels and the trade. Earlier this year, the Academy launched India Wine Insider 2017 – The Consumer Outlook, India’s first-ever survey of the urban Indian wine consumer; it will now offer research-backed knowledge and expertise to the hospitality, retail and the global wine industry.
Sonal has previously worked as the Divisional Head - Wine & Beverage for ITC Hotels, India’s second largest luxury hotel chain, and more recently, has been appointed as the Wine Buyer and Consultant for Foodhall, the luxury retail store in the country.
Her pioneering digital (YouTube) channel ‘Sonal Holland Wine TV’, dedicated to wine education and entertainment, has been awarded for its innovation in content creation by the Digital Women Awards, and been named the Best Wine Vlog in India by the Food Bloggers Association of India.
2017 saw her chair the first edition of India Wine Awards, the first-ever wine competition that recognizes, rewards and celebrates the best of the best wines, both domestic and international, available in the Indian market, an initiative greatly lauded by the Indian and the global wine industry.
Sonal Holland is the most celebrated wine professional in the country today, for her trailblazing achievements and leadership initiatives in the field of wine. She has been regularly featured among the Top Women in Wine by the Indian Wine Academy. Blackbook– India’s top Luxury Insider, has featured her among the Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Indian Luxury in all their editions since 2015, as well as among the Top 100 Most Influential People in Indian Luxury in 2016.
Sonal enjoys being on the judging panel at international wine competitions including the Decanter Asia Wine Awards, Concours Mondial du Bruxelles and the Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition. She occasionally authors wine articles for leading lifestyle and business publications; she is an in-demand speaker at conventions and corporate seminars; often seen fascinating her audiences about the wonderful world of wines.
In addition to the ‘Master of Wine’ title, Sonal holds the Level 4 Diploma in Wines & Spirits from the UK-based Wine & Spirits Education Trust and is a Certified Educator for delivering their courses. Sonal also holds a Diploma in Hotel Management from the Institute of Hotel Management in Mumbai and a Masters Degree in Business Administration.
Sonal shares her love of wine with her British husband Andrew, who is a high-profile Indian financial market expert. Sonal’s greatest reward yet, came when her 8-year old daughter Rianna, on hearing about the MW news exclaimed, “Mamma, are you really India’s only Master of Wine? That makes you one in a billion!”
Sonal’s latest TEDx Talk is all about that; being one in a billion.
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