Ex accountant training as a wine-maker
Fred has had an impressive change of direction: from trainee accountant to a calling in the wine trade. Good on him! He has been a great help to Esc through the early days and we wish him all the best on his wine-making Masters!
I am about to embark on a year or so in Australia to study a http://www.adelaide.edu.au/programfinder/2009/moen_moen.html" rel="nofollow">Masters in Oenology (Wine-making). However in the meantime, I am working as a Wine Advisor at a small independent wine merchant in London.
When the course starts, I will be learning about the intricacies of wine-making which would entail a hands-on understanding from the growing of the grapes to the processes the wine undergoes prior to bottling.
To summarise, I will be frolicking around in vineyards in the Australian sun, whilst learning how to make the water of life. And even producing a Vintage of my own.
Before turning my attention to the wine trade, I worked for 7 months at a "Professional Services" firm in the City as an Auditor (i.e. doing nothing worthwhile).
My family has been associated with the wine trade for several generations and therefore it was always my goal to end up in the trade at some point; it was just a matter of when.
However, the decision to do the Masters is a recent one. As I am still (relatively) young, I felt as though time is on my side. I took the attitude of "If I don't do it now, I will never do it."
A casual dinner at Rob's boudoir (Esc founder) back in January: Rob said he had checked out a few universities in America and Australia that were running courses in wine-making. After chatting about it for the majority of sausage casserole, I left that evening with insuppressible excitement.
I am getting put through several wine exams (http://www.wset.co.uk/" rel="nofollow">WSETs) by my current employers. I can tell you that these are a lot more enjoyable to learn for than the accountancy exams. These are giving me a 'foundation of knowledge' before I start the course.
I have had to make a few sacrifices in my lifestyle, but these are only small. This doesn't mean that I have resorted to eating beans on toast every evening, but I am a bit more cautious with money than I have been so I can try to put some cash aside every month. When out in Australia, I am hoping to get some part time employment, again in the wine trade.
It is pretty daunting (and really exciting) to think that I am going to be travelling to the other side of the world on my own for a year. So when it comes to it, it's going to be tough leaving my friends and those close to me.... thank God for Windows Messenger.
Best thing: The excitement I get, whenever anyone asks me "Freddie, what do you do?"
Really corny but "You only live once!"
People can't tell you what to do (apart from maybe my mum... occasionally), they can only advise you.
Additionally, when making a decision and you come across problems like money, these are only short term problems and 'throw caution to the wind' because where there is a will there's a way.
In my eyes, people are the best resource. They will give you the closest thing to an honest answer if you approach them personally either via email or face-to-face.