With a background in English and French from University College London, Kate Lofthouse graduated in 2015 from the Diploma in Wine, Gastronomy and Management programme and went immediately into her current job at Maisons Marques et Domaines (MMD), the UK Agent of Champagne Louis Roederer.
She started as a Marketing Assistant, supporting the brand managers with PR and marketing activity for their brands. She was recently promoted to Junior Brand Manager, which has given her the opportunity to look after the distribution and promotional activity for Quartet, Domaine Anderson and Carpe Diem, which are all produced by Champagne Louis Roederer in the Anderson Valley in California.
1) Why did you decide to study the diploma in Wine and Gastronomy Management?
I studied the Diploma in Wine, Gastronomy and Management because I wanted to turn my passion for wine into a career in the most direct path possible. I began the course after I graduated university with only a basic knowledge of wine and the intensive, 6 month course was exactly what I was looking for. In just a few months it brought me up to speed on wine producing countries and regions, viticulture, winemaking, food and wine pairing and wine business in a way that no other course available in the UK can. There is no question that this course was instrumental in my finding a job in the wine industry so quickly.
2) What particularly interests you about wine?
What a huge question! The thing that most interests me about wine is that you are always learning – it is a constantly evolving subject which is becoming more and more interesting every day! I also enjoy the integration of history, culture, geography, and even politics, which goes hand in hand with learning about wine. It also tastes pretty good too!
3) How has the programme helped you in your career?
Without a doubt, I had almost no experience in the wine industry before starting my diploma and the course gave me the knowledge and confidence to apply for my current job. It now helps me in my day to day working life, whether it be when I am writing tasting notes for the MMD website, presenting our wines at trade and consumer tastings, or writing a business plan for one of the wineries I look after.
The course gave me the knowledge and confidence to apply for my current job.
4) Was it easy to find a job in the wine industry after graduating?
I was lucky enough to start my current job only three days after I finished my course.
5) What did you enjoy most about the programme?
The food and wine pairing! We were lucky enough to match wines carefully chosen by Matthieu Longuere MS with dishes prepared by Le Cordon Bleu Master Chefs – it felt more like going to an incredible restaurant for lunch than working!
6) What are your plans for the future?
Eventually, I would like to become a Brand Manager, but I would also like to work a few harvests somewhere a little warmer than the UK to learn more about viticulture and winemaking, which were some of my favourite modules at Le Cordon Bleu.