‘I get a buzz from being my own boss’
Sorcha Holloway, 50, lives in Plymouth with her husband Tim, 60, and their children Tara, 19, and Daniel, 13.
Everyone enjoys a glass of wine, but for me, it isn’t just the odd treat – I’ve managed to make working with wine my job. At university I studied medicine and started working as a junior doctor when I graduated. By 2001, I was specialising as an obstetrician and gynaecologist, and not long after, I met Tim at a work function.
But while I was happy, life was hectic. With long shifts, everything revolved around my career. I was constantly exhausted and my muscles ached. Then, in October 2002, I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, or ME. I had to give up work – the long hours just put too much of a strain on me – and in 2004 my son Daniel was born.
Despite having plenty to do, the truth is, without a plan B I felt adrift. That is, until we took a trip to Italy in 2007...
Tim and I visited a winery to learn about the Tuscan wines. I found it fascinating and, keen to learn more, over the next few years, I signed up for more and more wine courses. As I did, I started to wonder – maybe I could turn my love of wine into a career.
I enjoyed travelling and organising family trips – perhaps I could combine it all and provide wine tours for groups. It didn’t happen overnight. I did a lot of research and needed to make sure I had savings behind me. But in 2015, I set up a website and got in touch with wineries, hotels and tour operators.
The following year, I hosted my first tour to Verona with four guests – and while it was hard work, I got such a buzz from it.
Now I’m organising around five tours a year and I love being my own boss. I’m continuing to grow the business, which is exciting, and am constantly visiting new wineries around the world. If you have enough drive and determination, anything is possible. ✱ awaywithwine.eu
Sorcha’s left medicine behind and turned her love of wine into a career