Sonal Holland becomes India’s first Advanced Sake and Shochu Professional Expert


Sonal Holland who is India’s first and only Master of Wine, and is the country’s most accomplished and celebrated wine professional; has added yet another milestone accomplishment to her career pursuits. She has recently been conferred an advanced certification in Saké and Shochu from Tokyo, Japan awarded by the Japan Sake and Shochu Makers Association with the support of the National Tax Agency, National Research Institute of Brewing of Japan, and the Brewing Society of Japan. This certification makes Sonal the first Indian to become a certified professional in Saké and Shochu.

The comprehensive program is designed to equip participants with advanced correct knowledge of the traditional drinks of Japan. It involved self-study combined with a week of intensive classroom training in Tokyo about the history, culture, production and styles; learning from top experts of Japan; tasting several samples of Sake and Shochu; gaining hands-on knowledge of the production process through visits to traditional breweries and experiencing the dining-drinking culture, at leading food and beverage establishments in Japan. The final assessment involved a blind-tasting exam of 8 Sakes and 8 Shochu.

Says Sonal, “I chose this program because I wanted to gain direct, in-depth insights into the world of Saké and Shochu from the best instructors in the trade and have the unique opportunity to taste the several classic and high-quality Saké and Shochu, available largely in Japan. India is at the cusp of a beverage revolution where more restaurants are putting a focus on their beverage programs to complement their fine cuisines; and discerning consumers seek an exciting choice of drinks to enjoy and enhance their lifestyle. The fineness and elegance of Saké and Shochu, alongside Wine, fits in perfectly.

Going forward, I am pleased to announce that the Sonal Holland Wine Academy will be at the forefront of retailing, marketing and education of some exciting Saké and Shochu drinks in the country, both to trade as well as consumers.

Of course, my primal love for wine continues. This is simply an extension of doing what we love doing most – promoting the culture and love for fine beverages the world has to offer.”

Sonal is passionate about drawing global attention to the country’s young and exciting beverage industry. This certification will only further her endeavours as a domain expert on the business of wine & spirits in India.