A Five Star Wine Extraordinaire

Introducing Henry - Millbrook's Leader in Wines. From Champagne to Chardonnay, Riesling to Rosé and everything in between. This was all part of the intensive training undertaken by Henry de Salengre when completing his world recognised Wine Spirit and Education Trust (WSET) Level 4 Diploma.

3 Mar 2021

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In depth is an understatement when it comes to the knowledge and skills that you need to pass the WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines but that is just what Henry did.  The qualification is notoriously difficult to complete let alone pass, and out of the six students in Queenstown who were registered on the course Henry was the only one to pass. 

Henry is the Tour Guide at Millbrook Resort taking guests on an unforgettable journey; should they meet him for a wine tasting experience hosted on site or join him on a bespoke wine tour around Otago.  With the qualification recently completed Henry will enlighten guests on wines of the world, wine production, wine business, sparkling, still and fortified wines in New Zealand and around the world.  We sat down for a Q&A session to see what makes Henry tick. 

 Why did you choose to enroll in the WSET Level 4 Diploma?


 I was thirsty for knowledge! I have grown up working in bars and restaurants since I was 15. Part of these jobs is to have a good knowledge of your products to help the consumer with their choice. Alcohol has a fascinating story steeped in history and constantly evolving so it is a very diverse subject to study.  Blending together history, geography, art, science, markets and economy.  Being a part of one of humanities older industries really excites me. The practice of fermentation and distillation has been around for thousands of years yet not much has changed with how we make wine today, just look at the natural wine movement for example. 


 How did you first hear about it?


 The WSET is a worldwide organisation based in London.  I heard about it from a friend I worked with whilst we were chatting about wines before service. It seemed like a great idea to enroll.


 How long did it take you to complete?


 There were six modules which took almost three years to complete, with a further six-month delay as a result of the Covid lockdown.


 Now that you are qualified, what is next for your career?


Taste more wines!  I am lucky to live and work in the best place on earth here in Otago.  In this region wine is still a relatively young industry, so I want to help it grow by sharing incredible local wines and stories with both our visitors and those up and coming in the hospitality industry. 


Millbrook Resort has a diverse role in the local wine trade with multiple restaurants, onsite wine experiences and private wine tours to the local cellar doors. My job here is to create the very best wine and drinks experience for our guests, be it a glass by the Mill Pond or a trip through the vines.


What is the your biggest take away from the course?

You need to love what you do, put in the hard work, add a bit of luck and you will achieve your goal

 We couldn’t have said it better Henry, congratulations on your fantastic achievement, salute!

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