HEAD SOMMELIER

MANCHESTER LEGEND

George Bergier was born in a displaced persons camp in Lubeck, Germany in 1946. His father a Polish Air force navigator who had been shot down and imprisoned. His mother a Polish aristocrat who was forced into slave labour.

 

After George was born, his mother took him back to Poland and his father was forced to emigrate to Australia to avoid the Soviet Russian regime which had murdered so many Polish officers.

 

Growing up George had two great gifts.

 

He was a talented athlete who won the Polish Army long jump championship in 1965 and who was destined for the Olympics as a sprinter and jumper.

 

His other great gift was a truly astonishing palate.

 

In 1968 George showed up at Manchester’s great railway hotel, The Midland, on a training exchange. He liked it so much he stayed. He was a Cold War defector.

 

This decision led to one of the most distinguished careers in the food and drink industry and in this city.

 

The Goblet Wine Bar at The Midland was a pilgrimage site for wine lovers. All of whom came to know the manager George Bergier as the true guru of wine in the city.

 

Over the years George has travelled the world for wine. He has forged strong friendships and connections based on the respect people have for his opinion, knowledge and his palate.

 

He was long-term General Manager of the city’s oldest private member’s institute, the St James’s Club, at the peak of its popularity. He then worked at the Four Seasons Hotel and Manchester Airport before returning to The Midland as Food and Beverage Manager. He ran Le Mont when it was Manchester’s restaurant of the year before becoming the original manager of the Great John Street Hotel. And in 2008 he joined Sam’s Chop House.

 

Wherever George went, his customers followed, in search of truly remarkable wine and great companionship. Many became lifelong friends.

 

Half a century after arriving in Manchester, George’s name is held in the highest regard, not only by our city, but the wider world of food & wine.

 

George’s career is not just a timeline of fine restaurants and fine wine lists. It is a timeline of recognition for his talents.

GEORGE'S ACHIEVEMENTS IN WINE

For 25 years George led the Guild of Sommeliers in Manchester as its Chairman.

 

He is the current Consul of L’Ordre Des Coteaux de Champagne.

 

In 1999 he was presented with the Dom Perignon Award for Excellence by the Academy of Food and Wine Service.

 

He won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2006 Manchester Food & Drink Festival.

 

In 2014 the Variety Club of Great Britain awarded him Legend of Industry.

 

In 2017 George won Imbibe Magazine’s Industry Legend award.

 

George has also been named in Harpers Wine's Top 50 recognising the world’s most influential and innovative curators of drinks offers on a number of occasions.

 

George also sits on the judging panel for the People’s Choice Wine Awards.

 

The Chop Houses have won the prestigious Wine Spectator Award of Excellence three times under his stewardship. The certificate calls his list "one of the finest in the world". We are one of only two winners ever from the northwest of England.

 

“The best value fine wines in Manchester” – Richard Mayson, Louis Roederer International Wine Feature Writer of the Year.

 

The term legend is liberally abused these days. But we’re sure you’ll agree, it’s safe to say that George Bergier is one.

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©2020 Sam's Chop House, The Victorian Chop House Company Ltd. All images and words by Sam's Chop House,

David Lake and Tony Husband.

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