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Calgary wine pro to be Canadian rep at international competition

September 2, 2015  By Press release

July 28, 2015, Calgary, Alta – Peter Smolarz, fine wine director at Calgary’s Willow Park Wines & Spirits, has been selected to compete at the upcoming La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs International Jeunes Sommeliers Competition to be held in Adelaide, Australia on September 25, 2015.

Smolarz currently manages Willow Park’s Bordeaux Futures Program; hosts events in wine, spirits & beer; conducts level 1 & 2 WSET education courses; and hosts tours in wine regions around the world. Prior to that, he was cellar master at Ranahans Members Restaurant in Calgary, providing Sommelier service, organizing the wine list, and training staff in wine and table service. He has also served “on the front lines” in all areas of the winery industry, travelling across the globe to places such as California, Washington, Argentina, Chile, Italy, Belgium, Australia and France to further his understanding in the methodology of wine production. In 2006, he worked the harvest in Chianti Classico, Tuscany, gaining hands-on experience at Tolaini Estate Winery – including harvesting grapes, testing maturation on vine, inoculation of yeast, handling push downs and pump overs during the wine making process, and even cleaning the winery.

Now entering his tenth year in the wine industry, Smolarz has an extensive educational background including his WSET Level 3 Advanced Certificate; WSET Approved Programme Provider Level 1 & 2; Court of Master Sommeliers Level; French AOC certificate with Chateau Magnol and Spanish DO certificate with Marquis de Riscal.


The Chaîne des Rôtisseurs is an international gastronomic society devoted to promoting fine dining and preserving the camaraderie and pleasures of the table. The society has both non-professional “gastronome” and culinary professional members in more than 75 countries around the world.

The International Jeunes Sommeliers Competition, open to young professionals who have a pronounced interest and knowledge of wine and crafted beverages between the ages of 21 and 30, is hosted each year by La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs. Competitors from around the world are chosen through selection competitions held in their respective countries. Each competitor is tested in three areas: theory, service and blind tasting.

“The steady composure that comes with self-confidence in the face of competitive situations can only happen when specialized knowledge is buttressed by passion and a love for the subject,” said Joseph Girard, chairman of the Jeunes Sommeliers Competition committee. “One of the most revealing aspects about the Jeunes Sommelier Competition was the dedication and skill that emanated from these contestants and witnessing how these young men and women displayed grace under pressure.”

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