On Monday evening, January 30th Jane will present an hour and half long tasting on Italian wine within the context of the International Wine Tourism Conference. Her aim is both educate on the myriad styles of Italian wine and its intricate relationship with Italian wine tourism. As Italy is still an undiscovered jewel for many wine tourists, Jane will do her very best to enlighten us as to the wide range of wines and destinations within Italy.
In July 2011, Jane Hunt completed 34 years working in the UK wine trade. A serendipitous introduction to wine occurred in 1974 when she was employed as an ‘English-speaking’ assistant by Cantine Lungarotti in Torgiano, Umbria in Italy – a role she occupied for some 2 years. (She lived in Perugia, Italy from January 1973 – April 1976).
An opportunity to develop a future in the wine trade occurred in July 1977 when she joined the PR Department of John Harvey & Sons Ltd in Bristol giving guided tours of the Harvey’s Wine Museum and tutoring sherry tastings. During this period, Jane Hunt studied her way through all the WSET examinations from Certificate to Diploma gaining the Madeira Shippers’ Scholarship for 1981. An internal move to the Wine Department within Harvey’s offered greater opportunities to learn about wine. The Vintners’ Company Scholarship was awarded to JH in 1981, which permitted three months travel and study in France and Germany.
In 1982, JH took on a role as retail buyer for Annabel’s Wine Cellars. This developed into a position as buyer for the group of four André Simon shops in central London. JH achieved a pass in the Master of Wine examination in 1985.
Nine months of world travel ensued including a period of employment in Australia with Brown Brothers in Victoria. JH continued to work for Brown Brothers via their agents in the UK, Walter Siegel & Co. Ltd on her return.
From 1987 – 1991, JH was employed as Sales & Marketing Director for Paul Boutinot Wines. This period saw the company though a period of significant growth.
From 1992 – 1995, JH operated on a ‘freelance’ basis during which time she wrote a monthly column for House and Garden, co-ordinated and lectured wine courses for Leith’s School of Food and Wine, wrote copy for wine lists, leaflets etc. for Sainsbury’s, Bottoms Up and Wine Rack, supplied purchasing strategy plans for Wine Cellar, lectured for Christies Wine Courses, acted as wine guide for Arblaster and Clarke Wine Tours – amongst many other activities.
In 1995 JH set up and ran ‘Wines of South Africa’, the inaugural UK based generic promotional body for South African wines after the historic transition of power to the ANC and the subsequent election of Nelson Mandela to President. Her assistant during this time, Tina Coady, is now her business partner in Hunt & Coady.
During a two-year career break 1999 – 2001 she completed a Higher National Diploma in Horticulture and Crop Technology.
Since 2001, she operates ‘Hunt & Coady Ltd’ in a 50/50 arrangement with her business partner, Tina Coady, where activities are concentrated on organising wine trade tastings and events. H & C has worked variously with Chile, Argentina, France and Italy (Alto Adige Wine Promotion & Gambero Rosso) in this respect in recent years and continues to work in greater measure with Italy and Argentina at present. In 2010, H & C worked for the first time with Slovenia.
H & C own and run the annual ‘Definitive Italian Wine Tasting’ (13th year in 2011) and ‘France Under One Roof’ (10th year in 2011) tastings in London.
JH is a Regional Chairman for Italy (Tuscany Panel) for the Decanter World Wine Awards and, when time permits, escorts wine tours to Italy for Arblaster & Clarke Wine Tours.
In July we caught up with Jane at her home in Umbria and we interviewed her on the topic of becoming a Master Of Wine