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Pierre Brunelli - Our Master Sommelier

This August our Cartmel Operations Manager, Pierre Brunelli, passed his Master Sommelier exam and became a member of the Court of Master Sommeliers.

Pierre shares his journey from his first job in the wine to receiving this incredible accomplishment.

“I first heard about The Master Sommelier Diploma in 2010 when I was working at Hotel du Vin in Henley-on-Thames as a Junior Sommelier (my first position in wine). Ronan Seyburn MS, the group head sommelier and my former Head Sommelier, Andreas Rosendal introduced me to exam and I was immediately keen to start learning, reading and tasting in order to sit the exam in the near future.

I joined The Greenhouse in London in late 2011 and passed my level one (introductory) and level two (certified) late 2012. I was surrounded by supportive and inspiration peers at The Greenhouse Head Sommelier Marc Piquet, Assistant Head Elvis Ziakos and Christopher Delalonde MS. In late 2013 I passed my level three (advanced) and was delighted to receive the highest score that year.

In 2014 I moved to The Fat Duck where I worked under Isa Bal MS who gave me invaluable advice as to how best to mentally prepare for the Master Sommelier by managing sleep, stress and exercise.

In late 2015 I moved to L’Enclume taking my first head sommelier position with the intention to be a part of a great restaurant, in a quiet location so I could focus more time on reading and learning.

There are three parts to the Master Sommelier examination; theory, practical and tasting. In 2016 I was thrilled to pass my practical examination but unfortunately in 2017, I failed my tasting examination which meant I had to start the three-tiered process from the beginning which I found incredibly disheartening

I went on to successfully pass both the theory and practical exams second time around in 2018. I then had 2 years to complete my tasting. The tasting is my 'Bete noire' as I had never managed to pass it however in the summer of 2019, I passed my tasting in Kloster Neuburg and became one of the 262 members of the Court of Master Sommeliers.“

Pierre has been Head Sommelier at L’Enclume, Group Beverage Manager for Simon’s Cartmel restaurants and now looks after all Cartmel operations as Cartmel Operations Manager. We are incredibly proud of Pierre’s achievement. Well done Pierre!