THE operations manager at one of Cumbria's finest restaurants has joined am elite list of people worldwide to have received the prestigious Master Sommelier Diploma.

Pierre Brunelli, operations manager of two Michelin starred L’Enclume, took the final exam in Austria and is now only one of 262 people worldwide with the title and one of only three UK candidates to achieve this status.

To become a Master Sommelier, the highest qualification awarded by the Court of Master Sommeliers, he completed the three examinations; theory, tasting and practical. The practical examination requires the candidate to taste six wines completely blind and to identify grape varieties, country, district of origin and vintage.

Originally from France, his journey to achieve the status started in 2015 and was completed this year after five previous attempts.

Pierre commented: "It has been an amazing journey and I have been lucky enough to meet so many great people with the same passion for all things wine along the way. The team at L’Enclume have been incredibly supportive and I can’t wait to see what comes next for me!’

Before working for Simon Rogan, Pierre held positions at restaurants including The Greenhouse in London and The Fat Duck in Bray.

Not only does a Master Sommelier have to have exceptional understanding of the wine industry, they must also have a great depth of knowledge on beer, cocktails and spirits, as well as excellent customer service and sales skills.