Raby Hunt sommelier wins prestigious scholarship

Austrian-born Daniel Stojcic, sommelier at the two Michelin-starred Raby Hunt, has been awarded the Gerard Basset Travel Scholarship – giving him a £5,000 bursary to travel to expand his wine knowledge.

The scholarship was set up in 2019 in honour of the late Gerard Basset, one of the world’s top sommeliers and restaurateurs. Daniel’s entry, which was an essay on the reason why he’d like to visit the wineries in Languedoc and Roussillon in south east France, won him the first prize and he is hoping to make the trip next year.

Daniel – who was named Ireland’s Sommelier of the Year while working at NOBLE in Holywood, just outside of Belfast, will also be travelling to Cyprus next month to compete for the ASI Best Sommelier of Europe and Africa 2021.

“It has been a very exciting year and I am delighted to have won this scholarship,” said Daniel. “I was quite late in starting to train as a sommelier but that has made me even more hungry for it and more determined to grow my knowledge at every opportunity.”

James Close, chef patron of The Raby Hunt, added: “Daniel’s knowledge is amazing and he has such a thirst to learn more and to succeed. The fact that he’s won the Gerard Basset scholarship highlights that and we are all very proud of him.”

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