Name Camilla Shepherd
Job within the wine trade Sales and Marketing for Chateau Musar
How long have you been in this role/wine trade? 11 years
What made you want to get in to this area of work and what drives you to stay in it? I originally studied for a degree in retail because I loved working in several different clothes shops when I was at sixth form. I did a placement year whilst at Loughborough University for Marks and Spencer and found that the food and drink side of the business was really exciting, fast paced and constantly changing. This prompted me to apply for a graduate job with Majestic Wine’s as I loved working in retail and really wanted to learn about something new at the same time. I knew nothing about wine when I left uni – I used to drink anything that was cheap and cheerful the sweeter the better. But after a few months in Majestic Brighton my tastes soon changed. Here I quickly tried a large variety of wines as well as studied or my WSET advanced certificate. Majestic was great for training and tasting wines, I became a store manager of a brand new store after two years working for them which was a great challenge but lots of fun meeting new customers and working in a new team.
I won an incentive trip with Majestic to go to Lebanon to visit Chateau Musar, it was here I fell in love with the wines of Musar and the story behind them. I was lucky enough to then be offered a job working in sales for them for the whole of the UK. I have been doing this role for over seven years and have enjoyed having the flexibility of working for a small family owned business. It was meant that I can be involved in a large variety of different things from dealing with a variety of different on and off trade customers, attending large tasting events to tasting and creating new vintage tasting notes and marketing material for the company.
What is your wine career highlight? Spending time with and learning about wine from the late great Serge Hochar himself.
If someone wanted to get in to the wine industry, what would your advice be? Be prepared to work really hard and long hours and to have an open mind. I love that wine is so subjective, there is no right or wrong when it comes to tasting wine really and everyone’s palates and tastes are so different. Respect that and listen to what people want and like and the job’s easy. Most people that work in the industry are really like minded and have a great sense of fun – why wouldn’t they it’s a great industry to work in!
5 quick fire questions – Up Close and Personal!
1. Favourite food and wine match? Champagne and fish and chips – classic!
2. Have you got tattoos if so, how many.. if not, are you tempted? No, not really tempted
3. What did you want to be when you were growing up? Always wanted to run my own business – still do
4. What is your favourite season? Autumn, I love the busy run up to Christmas.
5. If you had 3 wishes, what would they be? For everyone to be healthy, happy and to always drink good wine.