Cathy Henton profile
Cathy’s career in wine started shortly after she left school and joined Seagram UK (at that time part of the largest wine and spirits company in the world). While there, she studied with the Wine & Spirit Education Trust, gaining her Diploma (the highest qualification) in 1986. Subsequent jobs involved running the sales office operations of two London wholesalers, selling wine to on-trade customers (hotels and restaurants) for Grants of St James’s and ultimately setting up her own wine education company called Vintastic in the South of England.
While working for herself, she represented an Australian winemaker based in the South of France, worked with an inspirational winemaker in Israel, ran wine courses for adults and sold wine on behalf of the General Wine Company in Liphook. She also lectured at wine societies and clubs across the South of England.
In 2003 she decided to further her own wine education and returned to study at Plumpton College (part of Brighton University) for a further 2 years. This HND course offered by the only winemaking college in the UK gave her the opportunity to put her academic knowledge into practice, while learning skills such as pruning, planting and harvesting vines, as well as analysing, making and bottling wine with the odd bit of tractor driving for good measure.
In 2006 Cathy took the decision to move to the Loire valley, a region steeped in viticultural heritage. She and her partner Nigel established both a home and a business in Cumeray, a tiny troglodytic hamlet 5 minutes from the river. Le tasting room specialises in custom-made wine tours, tastings and wine education for people from all over the world.