Celia Hay with Andrea Martinisi and Kristen Tay

Andrea Martinisi has been named the New Zealand Sommelier of the Year following a competition held at the NZ School of Food & Wine in Auckland.

This is the second time Martinisi – who is General Manager and Head Sommelier at Michael Dearth’s The Grove Restaurant in Auckland – has taken out the title.

Originally from Italy, Martinisi trained as an electrician before ending up working for Heston Blumenthal at The Fat Duck in the UK.

Later, he worked for the legendary Gerard Basset MS, MW at Hotel TerraVina, near Southampton and in July 2022, he gained permanent residency for New Zealand.

Martinisi will now travel to the ASI Association of Sommeliers Asia-Oceania Competition in November and then to the 2023 ASI World Best Sommelier Competition in Paris.

In the same competition, Kristen Tay – also from The Grove – was named New Zealand Junior Sommelier of the Year.

Tay came to New Zealand as an international student from Malaysia and went on to graduate in law at Auckland University.

New to hospitality and working under Martinisi at The Grove, Tay is currently studying the WSET Level 3 Certificate in Wine at NZ School of Food & Wine.

“At a time when our hospitality world, has never been under such pressure, primarily due to staff shortages, it’s inspiring to witness the dedication and craft of these candidates,” says NZ School of Food & Wine’s Celia Hay.

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