Ronan Sayburn MS

Jury Member


Ronan was born in Scarborough, North Yorkshire and has been involved in the wine and hospitality business for over 30 years.

His previous experience includes Le Manoir Aux Quat’ Saisons, Pied à Terre and wine merchant OW Loeb. He worked for the Gordon Ramsay Group as Executive Head Sommelier for eight years, mainly in the 3 Michelin star Royal Hospital Road plus created the wine lists and trained wine service teams for Claridge’s, The Connaught, the Savoy, Boxwood Café, Maze, and several overseas operations.

He was also at the Greenhouse restaurant (which, at the time, had the UK’s most substantial wines list of 3,400 bins) and the Director of Wines and Spirits for the Hotel du Vin group (14 hotels). Also, as the Head of Wines for the prestigious Dorchester Collection UK that consists of the Dorchester, Coworth Park and 45 Park Lane (with the 3 Michelin starred Alain Ducasse restaurant and Wolfgang Pucks restaurant – Cut).

As previous Head of Wines for 67 Pall Mall: a private members club for wine lovers with sites in London, Singapore and Switzerland, he supervised over 19 full-time Sommeliers on the team with a wine list of more than 9,000 bottles and 1,000 by the glass.

Ronan is a Master Sommelier, a previous winner of the UK Sommelier of the Year competition and competed twice representing the UK in the European Sommelier Competition. He also acts as the CEO for the Court of Master Sommeliers Europe who currently runs courses and examinations in Australia, New Zealand, China, India, Austria, Denmark, Portugal, Norway, Greece, Poland, South Africa, Ireland and England.

He is a Co-Chair for the Decanter World Wine Awards, plus judges at various wine competitions across the globe. A regular judge in the UK Sommelier of the Year Competition and senior judge/organiser of both the national China and Korean Sommelier of the Year Competitions.

He has been awarded three Cateys - the Oscars of the hospitality industry - one for Wine and Spirit Ambassador and the Gerard Basset Lifetime Achievement Award plus as part of the 67 Pall Mall team for online innovation during lockdown.

Currently, he runs his consultancy – The RS Wine Academy, specialising in managing private portfolios, wine training to the trade and public and wine events.

When not drinking wine Ronan can be found deep-diving shipwrecks from the south coast of England.