The head sommelier of a Michelin starred restaurant near Hexham has been named in a leading trade magazine's list of the UK's top sommeliers.

On July 1, Vanessa Stoltz of Pine learnt of her inclusion in Harpers' expanded list, which now names 50 top sommeliers rather than 25.

The expansion of the list reflects the wealth of UK talent in this crucial part of the hospitality industry.

The Harpers list entrants are nominated by the publication's readership and judged by peers and contemporaries across the drinks trade.

The selection process ensures each nominee is a consummate professional, capturing the judges' attention with their comprehensive approach to delivering a distinctive drinks experience.

The judging system varies from traditional drinks-led competitions, as it evaluates sommeliers, their lists and broader drink offers, focusing on suitability for the style of establishment and clientele expectations.

Harpers said of Ms Stoltz's work: "The cheering illustrations sprinkled on this concise list point the way to Stoltz’s ethos of keeping the selection small, neat, and fun, but all the while daring to be different.

"Local and British beverages take pride of place, backed by all-British pairing flights, with sustainability always at the fore.

"Stoltz’s knowledge, passion and winning enthusiasm do the rest, backed by an impressive career to date.’’

Ms Stoltz, who joined the Master Court of Sommeliers in 2023 and recently featured in the second-ever edition of the Sommelier Edit UK Top 100 Sommeliers list, said: "I can’t quite comprehend what’s happened in the last few weeks.

"To be included in two prestigious sommelier lists is out of this world and I’m totally thrilled, and if I’m honest I’m a little bit lost for words too."

Sian Byerley, co-owner and restaurant manager of Pine, said: "We couldn’t be prouder of Vanessa.

"Her knowledge and passion for what she does is infectious.

"Being recognised by her industry peers acknowledges her drinks journey during her career so far and we can’t wait to see how she progresses even further in the coming years."

The full list of Harpers' top 50 sommeliers can be found on the Harpers website.