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woman named paula de pano smiling and holding two awards she accepts world of wine award

Paula De Pano Receives Prestigious World of Fine Wine Award for the Fearrington House

Perhaps one of the best parts about my job would be the opportunities to travel to top dining destinations. For me, traveling enriches my soul at the same time as I’m expanding my knowledge of food and wine. To travel is to learn, and to learn is to share all the newfound information to my own guests when I return.

I was in London recently to represent Fearrington House as it was awarded one of the Jury Prizes from The World of Fine Wine for 2019. The World of Fine Wine is a critically acclaimed quarterly publication focusing on wine topics of serious academic merit. Its regular contributors are the most respected and elite members of the wine world including Hugh Johnson OBE, Tom Stevenson, Oz Clarke, and a slew of Masters of Wine – Michael Broadbent, Jancis Robinson, Clive Coates, Serena Sutcliffe, and Jasper Morris.

WFW Editor Neil Beckett explains that, “These are the first awards to acknowledge the importance of a good wine selection in the modern dining experience all over the world. We were hugely impressed by the range of high-quality entries, and had a pleasantly difficult time settling on our very deserving winners.”

An international judging panel of Masters of Wines, Master Sommeliers, Best Sommeliers of the World, authors, and wine critics was assembled for the task ahead. Judging 4,000 entries from all over the world took four rounds of consideration, with each round whittling away more and more entries. When only 1,000 entries were left, these lists were further categorized as having 1, 2, or 3 star restaurant lists, with three-stars as the highest award. Fearrington House has held the 3-star distinction since 2015. The restaurant was further given the Jury Award for 2019, reserved only for wine lists that showed distinctive character and flair. Other awardees include fellow Relais & Chateaux properties, Per Se (NYC), Restaurant Daniel (NYC), The Yeatman (Portugal), and The Vineyard (UK).

Traveling to London to be around other wine professionals who put so much effort into channeling their passion for wine into their respective wine lists was exhilarating to say at the very least. Fearrington House is a far cry from having a 200-page wine list with verticals on top of verticals of Burgundy and Bordeaux producers, but for now, having the privilege to curate a list that has been recognized as one crafted with love and uniqueness is enough.

~Paul De Pano, Fearrington’s Beverage & Service Director