Head sommelier and director of the Saxon collection wine programme at the luxurious Saxon Hotel Villas and Spa, Lloyd Jusa, chats to us about what his roles entail.
1. My journey with wine started at a young age. My father worked in a hotel, so I grew up surrounded by wine. I became fascinated with it as a food product and gained more interest as I got older. I then decided to learn more about it. I studied with the Court of Master Sommeliers UK – I did my introductory certificate in London in 2013, then completed the full certification in Vienna, Austria, the following year.
2. My job revolves around wine. I source different types from all over the world in order to pair the hotel’s food with the correct wine. I also play a critical role in wine tasting and menu development. I love that I get a chance to educate hotel patrons about wine.
3. I have to continuously gain knowledge about the wine industry. I’m always learning more about wine because being well informed is an important part of my job. The wine industry is always evolving and I have to be up to date with the latest international trends. Being humble and emotionally intelligent is also an important part of my job because I have to meet and exceed customers’ needs.
4. Over the years, I have been awarded significant accolades. In 2015, I was the recipient of the Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award, which was established to bring focus and recognition of achievement to the growing group of wine professionals in South Africa. And this year, my wine selection for the hotel group I represent was awarded a three-star rating by the World of Fine Wines – a luxury organisation based in London. I’m humbled.
5. I’m excited to be a part of the 2017 Good Food & Wine Show. As the guest sommelier, I’ll be showing attendees that wine is fun and not intimidating the way most people assume. I’ll also be playing around with food and wine pairings, discussing modern wine trends and exploring new wine varietals. It will be a fun-filled day.