A young Killyleagh woman has taken the first step in an exciting career after beating off hundreds of competitors to win a trainee place with fine wine supplier James Nicholson Wine Merchant.
Lucinda McMillan is the first trainee to be appointed by the Crossgar business which supplies rare and fine wines to hotels and restaurants across Ireland.
The 21-year-old is set to learn all aspects of the award-winning business working across its sites in County Down and Dublin. As part of the programme, she will also take part in a Bordeaux grape harvest and receive sponsorship through the international Wine and Spirit Education Trust.
James Nicholson, who has over 30 years experience in the trade, said creating a traineeship was a “way for young talent to enter the trade and learn from our unrivalled experience”.
“The training scheme is all about finding the right person with the right attitude and Lucinda impressed us with her natural people skills,” he said.
Lucinda, who graduated from Queens University, Belfast this year, said she was excited to be embarking on this career path.
“I’m fascinated with everything about wine — the grape varieties and regions, the production process and of course tasting the finished product. I’m lucky that the training scheme gives me the chance to learn all of that and plenty more in a structured, hands-on way,” she said.
Lucinda’s appointment comes as James Nicholson launches its wine selection website, JNwine.com, which allows visitors to quickly search through its wine list by region, variety and vintage.
Mr Nicholson added: “The investment in the website marks an important milestone for us. Online customers should not miss out on the enjoyment of choosing wines with our experts.
“By putting our knowledge on the website, it’s never been safer or easier for Irish shoppers to have the world’s finest wines brought to their doorstep.”