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Delhi Wine Club
Sonal Holland becomes India’s first MW

Posted: Monday, 05 September 2016 17:57


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Sonal Holland becomes India’s first MW

Sep 05: Indian women are already known to have reached the pinnacle in politics, banking, finance and several sectors of economy and have also proven their mettle as entrepreneurs but now Mumbai based Indian woman Sonal Holland has joined the ranks of the women celebrities by becoming the first woman in India to join the elite club of 354 members who have earned the title of MW, according to a Press Release by the Institute of Masters of Wine

Click For Large ViewSonal is one of the 13 students from Australia, China, France, India, Ireland, Taiwan, the UK and the USA, who have cleared the exams, giving them the prerogative of joining the Institute ofMasters of Wine (IMW). Besides her, the new Masters of Wine (MWs) are Richard Ballantyne (UK); Bree Boskov (Australia); Barbara Boyle (Ireland); Matt Deller MW (USA); Matthew Forster (UK); Jeremy Lithgow (UK); Mary Margaret McCamic (USA); Iain Munson (France); Mick O’Connell (Ireland); Mark Pygott (Taiwan); Ana-Emilia Sapungiu (UK) and Fongyee Walker (China) who has been a fellow judge at the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Wine and Spirits Competition for several editions.

Sonal is an award-winning wine broadcaster, educator, consultant, judge and an entrepreneur. Till recently she was the Divisional Head- Beverages for ITC Hotels for India. She is also the founder of Sonal Holland Wine Academy which offers certified WSET wine courses and consultancy to leading hotels and the wine trade. Last week she founded SOHO Wine Club that aims to deliver world-class wine and finely curated experiences to consumers in India. Her digital 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 in 2015.

Sonal was featured in the biennial ‘Top Ten Women in Wine in India’ by the Indian Wine Academy and delWine in the inaugural 2013 and again in 2015. She has also been listed among the Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Indian Luxury by Black Book in 2015.

She holds a Diploma in Hotel Management from the Institute of Hotel Management Dadar in Mumbai, and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Mumbai University.

The Masters of Wine Examination consists of three stages, including Theory and Practical Exams, and culminates in the submission of a final Research Paper, an in-depth study on a wine related topic from any area of the sciences, arts, humanities, or social sciences. Her Research Paper related to ‘ Awareness, attitude and usage of wine among SEC A urban Indian wine consumers.

Since 1953 a total of 391 men and women have passed the Institute's exams.

Sonal is naturally quite elated. When I called to congratulate her this morning she was still a bit numb from the call she had received from London a few minutes earlier. ‘It has been a long and arduous journey in pursuit of the title but frankly I am really proud to be India’s first Master of Wine. And to be given this title as a woman in a traditionally male-dominated industry makes it even more special.” While thanking me for the support and inspiration, she added, ‘Thank you Subhash for never doubting me, even in the darkest and doubtful moments! I am grateful for your support.’

Also on her agenda is the charge to promote Indian wines to the international diaspora, promote wine culture in India through wine education and appreciation, and represent India as its wine ambassador at international wine forums and events.

Sonal recently joined the delWine Excellence Awards as co-chairperson of the Jury. In a collaborative effort she plans to bring the Awards in Mumbai where the India Wine Awards will also be organised  next year.

We wish Sonal a very rewarding career in wines and raise a toast and say Jai Ho!

Subhash Arora

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