Wine and spirits specialist
Francis' passion for wine began when he tasted a glass of 1945 Chateau Montrose while studying hotel management. He finished his studies and became a sommelier at The Grand Hotel in Brighton. The hotel saw fit to promote the nineteen year old to head sommelier six months later.
Francis worked in the West End for three years, managing the accounts of renowned hotels and restaurants. Vineyard trips during his career fostered a desire for travel so Francis took a course in wine chemistry at Plumpton College that led to work in wineries in Australia, California and Romania.
On his return to the UK, he wrote a wine course for an international wine company, which led to the formation of Taste of the Vine, the world's first company dedicated to wine tasting and training events. Now in its 18th year, the company has staged over 3000 events in 48 countries. Francis and Philip have worked together for over 15 years including a wine-exploration trip they took together in 2008.