Dermot Sugrue | Litfest A Food and Drinks Literacy Festival at Ballymaloe
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One of the UK’s top sparkling winemakers, Dermot Sugrue was born in Ireland in 1974 where he grew up and lived in Co. Limerick near to the foothills of the Galtee Mountains until moving to the UK in 1992. He attained an Honours Degree in Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, England in 1996. After working for several years as an Independent Financial Advisor, he studied Viticulture and Oenology at Plumpton Agricultural College, Sussex.
 
Following vintages in the UK he completed two seasons working in Bordeaux, at Chateau l’Eglise-Clinet, Pomerol and Chateau Leoville-Barton, St Julien, before returning to the UK in 2002 to help establish a contract winery in Suffolk and where he blazed a trail at some of the top estates in the country.
 
In 2006 he met with Harry and Pip Goring and they talked about the vision of the Wiston Estate vineyard and the possibility of creating a winery. After working the 2006 vintage in Champagne for Jacquinot & Fils, he returned to the UK to begin his journey at Wiston and to fulfil his ambition of setting up a winery in West Sussex.
 
Dermot’s wines have been served at the Baftas, and was also used by The Queen to launch P&O Brittania.
 
Dermot’s own label Sugrue Pierre first release was the 2009 which went on sale in 2013; the 2010 subsequently scored the highest rating ever awarded by Decanter magazine for an English sparkling wine.
 
Dermot has made a special bottling of his wine in honour of his late Grand-Uncle, the extraordinary and innovative Irishman Brendan O'Regan
 
Brendan O’Regan (1917–2008) was an Irish businessman responsible for developing Shannon Airport, inventing the concept of the duty-free shop and transforming the Shannon region of Ireland. He was Chairman of Bord Failte (Irish tourist board) from 1957 to 1973, Chairman of Shannon Free Airport Development Company 1959–1978, and Joint President of State Agencies Development Co-operation Organisation 1974–1979. Among his many key initiatives were the establishment of Shannon College of Hotel Management, the renovation of Bunratty Castle and the creation of a Folk Park to attract tourists. He was deeply involved in promoting peace in Northern Ireland and co-operation between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. He set up Co-operation Ireland in 1978, the Irish Peace Institute at the University of Limerick in 1984.
 
"Dr Brendan O'Regan was a true visionary who leaves a legacy that permeates throughout all levels of economic, social and cultural life in Ireland," former President Mary McAleese said. "His initiation of and involvement in far-sighted projects such as the Shannon Development Company, Co-operation Ireland and the Irish Peace Institute contributed immeasurably towards the confluence of peace, prosperity and partnership we are now witnessing on this island."
Years at Litfest: 2014, 2017

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About Litfest

Litfest - A Food and Drinks Literacy Festival at Ballymaloe is a weekend filled with fascinating facts, inspirational stories, intriguing discussions, incredible knowledge, fantastic music, fabulous dancing and of course, delicious food and drinks.
 
It is the only festival of its kind in Ireland and has created an important hub for food and drinks enthusiasts worldwide to meet and share ideas with each other.

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