Rockpool Bar & Grill Sommelier Gianmattia Giordano has earned two great honours in one month.
The Rockpool Sommelier became a fully-fledged Certified Sommelier with the prestigious Court of Master Sommeliers Oceania on June 7th. On 21st June he was promoted to Assistant Head Sommelier at the world-renowned Rockpool Sydney.
Rockpool Sydney has one of the country’s finest wine vaults. Working at the esteemed Sydney steakhouse is the Holy Grail for many Sommeliers. To be promoted with in its Sommelier ranks is a wine-lover’s dream.
It is both an honour and a testament of a Sommelier’s dedication and hard work to achieve Certified Sommelierstatus. Rockpool Bar & Grill encourages teams members to undertake professional development and supports these endeavours.
It took Gianmattia about five months and 200 hours of study outside of his Sommelier duties at Rockpool Sydney. Multiple tasting sessions were also required. Many of these were held before shifts at Rockpool Sydney commenced.
Students travelled across Australia to participate in the program. Candidates were from New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, Western Australia and Singapore.
It’s a rigorous process and the examinations are tough. Less than half of the candidates passed the latest Certified Sommelier program. Congratulations Gianmattia!
Four levels of certification are offered by the Court of Master Sommeliers. The first course is the Introductory Sommelier Certificate. Next is the Certified Sommelier program. In March, exams were held for the Advanced Sommelier Certificate. The most prestigious title of all is Master Sommelier. Achieve this and Sommeliers can use the postnominal ‘MS’ after their name.
Achieving Master Sommelier status is hyper-exclusive. Only around 240 candidates have earned the title in over four decades since the Court’s first examination was held.
The Court of Master Sommeliers website says:
In the service of wine, spirits and other alcoholic beverages, the Master Sommelier Diploma is the ultimate professional credential that anyone can attain worldwide.
By Wearing the Court badge, you indicate to your customers that you have reached the highest level of proficiency and knowledge in your profession. When choosing wines and other drinks they know they can follow your advice with confidence.
The Court’s programs are intensive and require increasingly rigorous levels of coursework and examinations. The commitment and skillset required intensifies at every level. Consequently, the number of candidates sitting each examination decrease every step of the way.
In the March/June intakes, 41 students sat the Introductory Sommelier Certificate examination, 29 students satCertified Sommelier examination, and 17 sat Advanced Certificate exams.
A minimum of three to six months of preparation is required for Introductory and Certified levels. A minimum of 12 months of preparation is required for the Advanced Certificate.
Becoming a Rockpool Sommelier
Gianmattia is from Italy, which is one of the world’s greatest wine-producing countries. He has been in Australia since 2014.
He has always enjoyed studying and learning about wines. And he has always made a beeline for wineries when travelling.
His hospitality career began at Rockpool Bar & Grill Perth in 2019. He moved to Sydney and worked at Bistro Rex in Potts Point for almost three years. He was Assistant Head Sommelier there for a year.
He joined Rockpool Bar & Grill Sydney in April 2021. There, he works with one of the country’s finest Sommelier teams. Advanced Sommelier Filippo L’Episcopo leads the Sydney team.
Rockpool Learning & Development
Gianmattia has already set his sights on achieving the next qualification from the Court.
“In terms of professional learning and development I would like to enrol myself for the Advanced Sommelier Certificate next year,” he says.
He is also cognisant of the wealth of wine knowledge and assets he can tap into at Rockpool Bar & Grill.
“I also want to develop my Sommelier career at Rockpool,” he says. “I work with a very strong and talented team and have the opportunity to work with one of the best wine lists in the world.”
One of the things he enjoys most about working at Rockpool is “being able to learn every day something different about this vast world of wine.”
“I enjoy taking care of our guests and guiding them with their wine choice,” he explains.
“When your guest is happy about what you have been recommended, especially after long research, it is the best reward.”
Demand for Sommelier Training
Demand for certification from the Court of Master Sommeliers has grown significantly over the past ten years.
Over 1200 students have participated in the programs from across Australia, New Zealand and the APAC region. All programs in 2022 sold out with extensive waitlists for each level.
In 2023, the Introductory Sommelier Certificate (course and examination) and Certified Sommelier Certificate (examination only) will be offered in Sydney, Melbourne and New Zealand. The Advanced Sommelier Certificate will be offered in Sydney only.
If you are interested in joining the Sommelier team at Rockpool Bar & Grill, or are interested in other roles across the group, check out vacancies here.