Jean-Vincent Ridon, known as the #FlyingSommelier, manages the Sommeliers Academy, training the hospitality industry and grooming the best sommeliers of the future.
In 2020 the TOPS at SPAR Wine Show is pleased to welcome Jean-Vincent as a guest presenter where he will teach audience members how to “taste wine like a sommelier”.
Beginning as a sommelier in the family restaurant, Jean-Vincent Ridon went on to own his restaurant in the middle of the French vineyards of Sancerre. He has been an apprentice in several Michelin-starred restaurants making him one of the very few chef sommeliers in France.
JV managed the Centre des Vins de Propriétés in Paris, the largest wine shop in the world at that time with 10,000sqm of shelves.
On his first trip to South Africa when he came as a flying winemaker in 1996, he fell in love with the vineyards and decided to settle permanently. He created his wine label, Signal Hill, and consulted for many other projects.
In 2013 he created the South African Wine Tasting Championships, qualifying a South African team every year to compete at the World Blind Challenge. He was the first ASI Diploma certified sommelier in Africa, and he sits on the exam committee of the ASI, the global association of sommeliers, active across 60 countries