Nicolas Chieze

Nicolas Chieze was born in Evry near Paris but moved at an early age to the Loire Valley where he was educated and discovered his great passion for wine and gastronomy.  He started as Junior Sommelier at the Relais Chateau Cordeillan-Bages and came to this country to be Sommelier for the famous chef Michel Roux at the Waterside Inn with 3 Michelin Stars.   It was Michel Roux himself who recommended Nicolas to the two original owners of Sharrow Bay Hotel.   He has built on his knowledge and passion for great wines at this world famous hotel where, as Director of Wines, he overseas and grows a cellar with an international reputation for fine and rare wines picked from the very best vineyards in the world.   He was the Scotland and North of England Regional winner of the Ruinart UK Sommelier of the Year 2004 and 2006.


Peter Hadkins

Cumbria Wine Society began life as Higham Wine Club in 1983, with Peter as Chairman. Higham Hall is a Residential College for Adult Education near Bassenthwaite Lake. As Warden Peter started organising courses there in 1975 when Meg was a physiotherapist in Keswick. The first Wine appreciation courses were first presented by Gerald Moeckell of European Winegrowers Associates, and Gerald became the first President of the Club.

Peter and Meg have a particular interest in Spanish and Australian wines and have visited many wine regions in those countries as a result of family connections.

Peter became hon. President of the club in 1993 when John Woodhead became Chairman and soon after the Club's move from Higham Hall to the Hundith Hill Hotel. Peter is also Hon. Transport Manager for Keswick and district members.

Peter considers his chief claim to fame is the "discovery" of first, Janet Wynne Evans, who made her speaking debut at this Society in the early eighties and has been a 'regular' ever since. She is now with the Wine Society and writes witty food-and-drink articles in their Society News publication. Secondly, Margaret Brough, who was once in charge of catering at Higham Hall and now delights us with gourmet offering at our own food-and -drink occasions, usually at Mirehouse, near Keswick.


Piers Mortimer

Piers first arrived in Cumbria aged 5 after living in Chile for his formative years he continued to be sent all over the world by his parents but Cumbria always remained a base . Its was during this period that he was exposed to a vast range foods and cultures.

Fresh faced and a lot younger than he is now he embarked on a career in hospitality starting at the North lakes Hotel, Penrith and during a 20 year career was the Deputy General Manager at The Vinyard at Stockcross (with over 5000 wines on the list) latterly General Manager at The Samling, Windermear before moving to Corney & Barrow in 2008.

Family, Burgundy & Cycling are the 3 biggest passions in his life but can’t always afford all three at the same time….    



Nick Shill

Although Nick Shill originated in Middlesex he would certainly consider himself a Cumbrian by now.   He has been a big part of the food and service industry in Cumbria for many years.   He and his wife Wendy were in the  Cumbria Hotel, Keswick in 1985 before taking over the Ivy House, Braithwaite in 1988.   He has been a produce buyer for a British company, spent time on the Rungis market in Paris, and has worked as a wine consultant with Grapevine the Wine Company in Embleton for four years.   Along with his agricultural (dairying) background he and Wendy  have used all their past experience to open Shill's in Cockermouth who specialise not only in wine but handcrafted chocolates, cheeses and much locally produced deli food items.   This is not simply an excellent shop but he also does very popular wine tasting events.


Laurie Mansfield

Cumbria Wine Society - Honorary members