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Ronan Sayburn leaves Hotel du Vin for Dorchester

Published:  06 August, 2012

Hotel du Vin's group wine director Ronan Sayburn is moving to the Dorchester Collection of hotels as head of wine.

Master Sommelier Sayburn said the move wasn't related to the changes in management at Hotel du Vin. Gary Davis became the specialist wine hotel chain's chief executive in January of this year and implemented a series of changes, including stopping expansion of the Bistro du Vin concept.

Further changes took place in Hotel du Vin's wine department in an effort to streamline the business: it slashed its suppliers by 75%, started sourcing wines direct from wineries, and reduced its sommeliers' autonomy over ordering.

At the time Sayburn told Harpers did not mean it was "cutting the quality or the customer choice".

He said that his decision to move was unrelated to the changes that had taken place at Hotel du Vin, which were "pretty good ideas" and have worked. Rather he said that he had been approached about a number of positions by headhunters after the management changes. "When the Dorchester rings to speak to you, you don't say no," he added. He decided he would rather be in central London, working with five-star hotels.

"I'll be looking at revamping the wine list and bringing it more up to date,as well as looking after a lot of training and injecting a bit of wine ethos into the hotel."

The Dorchester Collection includes The Dorchester and 45 Park Lane in London.

As for Hotel du Vin, Sayburn, who takes up his new role on September 3, is currently looking for his replacement, but no definite decisions have yet been taken. "The formula for Hotel du Vin works quite well and they [management] realise they'd be crazy to change that too much," Sayburn said.