Catherine Wallace, Chateau de Combebelle

Catherine has had a long held dream of one day becoming a Master of Wine and owning her own vineyard in France when at the tender age of 8 or 9 years old she read part of Hugh Johnson’s World Atlas of Wine and fell in love with the idea of wine, travel and more! Soon after this, with the help of her parents, she started to find out more about a career in the wine trade and had her first “interview” with Tim Ferguson at Lay & Wheeler when she was 14 hoping to get a job with them over the busy Christmas period! Alas, the UK law would not allow someone under the age of 18 to work in the drinks industry! However, this did not deter her and when she reached 17 she found a summer job at Brandeston Vineyards in Suffolk. Much to her teacher’s horror she had no intention of following her class-mates to university but instead embarked on a 2 year training period working on vineyards in France and Germany immediately following school.

Catherine attended and passed the Wine & Spirit Education Trust exams up to and including Diploma and then embarked on the Master of Wine course. She is still working on this but hopes to finally achieve success in 2010! Catherine is keen to become actively involved in the Master of Wine Education Programme and hoping to encourage more French participation & success in the future.

Catherine has spent more than 20 years in the wine trade working in France, Germany, Holland (Résidence Wijnimport & Wijnkoperij De Gouden Ton) and UK where she worked for Majestic Wine Warehouses Ltd, La Vigneronne (now Handford Wines), Adnams and Lay & Wheeler.

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