Sommelier Nutawan Jumpanak, is the first ever female winner of the prestigious accolade.
Nutawan Jumpanak, Soneva Kiri’s Head Sommelier, has been awarded the title of ‘Best Sommelier in Thailand’ at the 12 th annual Bangkok Grand Wine Tasting event in the Thai capital. Wine expert Jumpanak took part in the three-day competition in November 2019, not only beating fierce competition to win the top accolade, but also winning the Chilean Wine Trophy to add to her growing list of achievements.
With a career that began in hospitality and mixology, Jumpanak became a sommelier in 2017, having honed her craft with world-renowned hospitality brands, including Disney in the US, the famous Dome at State Tower in Bangkok and the Bangkok Marriott. Since joining the Soneva Kiri team as Head Sommelier and Beverage Manager in 2018, Jumpanak has overseen the resort’s vast, subterranean Wine Cellar, and works closely with the resident culinary team and visiting Michelin-starred chefs to find the perfect vintage for every guest.
Passionate about organic and biodynamic labels, which now make up more than half of Soneva Kiri’s impressive 350-strong wine collection, Jumpanak is on a mission to champion Thailand’s burgeoning oenology scene. Alongside the finest varieties from both the Old and New Worlds, she sources up-and-coming local producers for Soneva Kiri’s wine list, with a focus on viticulture that complements Soneva’s organic, environmentally-conscious philosophy.
Whether hosting tasting evenings in the So Screwed Up Wine Cellar or recommending the perfect wine pairings for Soneva’s menus, Jumpanak relishes the opportunity to meet the resort’s guests, to share her knowledge and experience and take them on a journey of discovery through the fascinating world of wine.
In a traditionally male-dominated industry, Jumpanak stands out as one of Thailand’s only female sommeliers – and is the first and only woman to ever win the celebrated Best Sommelier in Thailand award. Gender equality is a vital part of Soneva’s ethos and, through initiatives such as the Women in Soneva programme, the company is committed to creating better career opportunities for women in the hospitality industry. Soneva Kiri has already met the company’s ambitious 50 percent target for female staff, while female employment at Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani, Soneva’s award-winning resorts in the Maldives, has reached 15 percent and 22 percent respectively and continues to grow, making it among the highest in the country.