Sonal Holland featured among the TOP Women in Wine in India 2015
Indian Wine Academy and delWine pioneered the concept of choosing Top Ten Indian Women of Wine in 2013 in order to biennially recognise and motivate women working in the Indian wine industry as winemakers, producers , sommeliers, marketers, educators and journalists. Continuing with the ongoing 2015 Series, we are pleased to welcome again Sonal Holland, to the Top Ten WOW List- the entry is in a random fashion and we don’t rank them, writes Subhash Arora
An accomplished wine educator, wine consultant to hotels and now a wine broadcaster, Sonal Holland is the quintessential wine diva of India. She is also India’s highest qualified wine professional.
A vivacious personality, strikingly ambitious with an infectious enthusiasm for all things wine-related, Sonal has speedily adorned an impressive line-up of qualifications under her belt. She holds the WSET Diploma in Wines & Spirits (Level 4) qualification from WSET London (UK) and is the first Indian to be enrolled into the Master of Wine (MW) education program, a highly coveted academic achievement in wines. She also holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration, Diploma in Hotel Management from IHM Mumbai, and an Advanced Certificate in Business Management from the highly reputed XLRI, Jamshedpur. She believes that continuous learning has helped liberate her from the mundane, giving her an enviable advantage and professional credibility throughout her career.
Sonal Holland is currently the Divisional Head - Wine & Beverages for ITC Hotels, one of India’s largest luxury hotel chains with over 90 hotels in more than 70 destinations. Her key focus has been to elevate the Hotel’s cellar offerings through world-class wine selections, to enrich the wine experiences of their guests at the various properties and to inspire and mentor a cadre of WSET-UK certified wine experience-makers for the specialty restaurants. She hopes to complete the MW program despite her heavy schedule. Sonal has already certified over 75 WSET Level 3 professionals for the ITC Hotel chain, creating the single largest pool of WSET-certified professionals for a hospitality chain.
Prior to joining the ITC Group, Sonal founded her own entrepreneurial venture Sonal Holland Wine Academy – a foremost wine-centric institution in India offering certified wine education and consultancy to hotels, restaurants and the wine trade. She is a Certified Educator for London based Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) certification courses, which are perhaps the most sought after wine & spirit qualifications in the world today.
Her latest venture Sonal Holland Wine TV, an exclusive digital channel dedicated to wines, is an effort to create a formidable destination for wine education, wine reviews, wine stories and world-class wine experiences for consumers in India. Through her videos, Sonal aims to empower her online viewers with cutting edge knowledge and information on wines, as well as enthuse them into the fascinating world of wines.
Sonal has been on the judging panel of several international wine competitions, and has authored articles for various wine magazines, and other well-established business and lifestyle publications. An astute palate for a wine-taster, her challenge now is how to enjoy wine casually.
Sonal is married to Andrew Holland – a British expatriate and a well acclaimed financial market expert. Their five year old daughter Rianna is her greatest joy and pride.
It’s a pleasure to have Sonal for the second time as one of the Top Ten Women of Wine in India 2015.