Ajit Balgi a wine educator based out of Mumbai is now accredited by the Bureau National Interprofesionnel Du Cognac (BNIC) the body at the helm of Cognac affairs as a Cognac educator. He will be the youngest Indian and the first wine educator based out of India to achieve this feat and is one of 90 in the world.
Balgi who runs The Happy High – a wine and spirit education, consulting and experiences firm was amongst the nine people from across the globe (USA, France, China, Argentina, and Italy) who were accredited this year. The accreditation was bestowed upon after an evaluation which included a written test and a presentation and Cognac tasting in front of jury comprising Cognac makers and other stakeholders from the region.
Balgi had a firsthand experience in the Cognac houses of Martell, Hennessy, Delamain and Baron Otard among others and a chance to taste Cognacs going back to the 60’s.
Speaking about the achievement, Balgi, “I am indeed elated to be selected as a Cognac educator from India. I am looking forward to spread the Cognac word to the spirit lovers in India and show them another world out there in dark spirits which is not whisky. Cognac starts from the farmer who grows the grape and ends with the master blender who gets it into the bottle with a unique recipe and this story is worth telling and of course listening to.”
Balgi runs The Happy High, one of India’s leading wine and spirit education and experiences companies. He is a seasoned mixologist and sommelier and has worked in Mumbai and London for over a decade in wine and spirits. Balgi is advanced qualified in wines and spirits from WSET (London) and has trained over 5000 professionals and consumers in the last 10 years. He was the only Indian to be at ESPAI Priorat 2017 in Spain, was selected to be a part of the Austrian Wine Summit in 2015 and also bagged the US Cochran scholarship in wines and spirits in 2016. He was the only Indian judge at a wine and spirit competition in South Africa in 2018.