India’s most qualified wine professional, Sonal Holland was recently named the world’s first and only Master of Wine from India, the highest academic achievement in wine. A certified wine educator, broadcaster, judge and wine consultant, Sonal is also the Co-Chairperson of delWine Excellence Awards – India’s first awards to recognise wine excellence in the hospitality, retail and the wine trade. Sonal is also the Founder of SoHo Wine Club that specialises in bringing members an expertly curated collection of wines from around the globe, tutored tastings and never before experienced wine dinners and events.
Sonal fell into the world of wine more than a decade ago, when she decided to quit a rewarding career with a Fortune 500 company to chase her ambition to be a wine-trepreneur. She went on to earn a Level 4 Diploma in Wines & Spirits from the esteemed London-based Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET). Since then, India’s most recognised woman in wine went on to ensure the highest possible qualifications in the wine world before setting up the Sonal Holland Wine Academy which offers certified WSET wine courses and consultancy to leading hotels and the trade.
She worked as the wine & beverage consultant to ITC Hotels, India’s second largest luxury hotel chain, with a remit to enhance the hotel chain’s wine cellar offerings, host exclusive events and mentor a cadre of wine-certified professionals for their specialty restaurants.
Sonal’s pioneering online channel Sonal Holland Wine TV, dedicated to wine education, has been awarded SheThePeople’s Digital Women Awards in 2015 for innovation in content creation. An in-demand speaker at conventions and corporate seminars, Sonal has also regularly featured amongst the Top Women in Wine in India by the Indian Wine Academy, and was listed in the Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Indian Luxury by BlackBook in 2015.