Covid-19 LATEST UPDATE 24/02/21

About the latest government measures on covid-19: 

After the Prime Minister’s statement on Monday 22nd February, we are now much clearer on how and when we can expect the current situation to change.

1. From now until Sunday 16th May: we will continue to offer a range of Virtual Wine Tastings to suit every level of knowledge from beginner through fine wine enthusiast to WSET professional courses. If you have a booking for an in-person event during this period, we will contact you directly to reschedule your booking for an event later in the year.

2. Starting Monday 17th May*: in line with the UK Government Step 3, we will resume Covid-Secure in-person tastings at our central Southampton and Winchester venues. These events are already advertised on this website, please see the events list for details. Read below for details on how these events will operate.

3. Tasting Events During “Step 3” May 17th-June 20th*: During this period, we will be operating wine tasting events in a Covid-Secure method. In addition to extra steps to ensure the room is Covid-Secure the following restrictions will apply:

  • Maximum Numbers – Because of social distancing, the total numbers on each event will be reduced by up to 50% (exact numbers will depend on the size of groups when booking), with a maximum of 12 people at The White Star Tavern in Winchester and 22 people at the Dolphin Hotel in Southampton.
  • Rule of Six – This means that no group may sit together if the number is greater than six OR they come from more than two households. We will ensure that a minimum 2m space between all groups.
  • Masks – You will be required to wear a mask at all times, except when you are seated in your socially distanced group for the tasting event. Your tutor will wear a mask at all times, except when presenting from the front of the room which will be socially distanced from you.
  • Food – All food/snacks will be pre-plated for each group, sharing food/plates between groups is not allowed.
  • Spittoons – We will not be providing spittoons, please ensure you have a designated driver or use public transport.
  • Wine – The tutor will pour the wine for you whilst wearing a mask.

4. Starting Monday 21st June*: based upon what the Prime Minister has said for Step 4, we will be able to operate without any restrictions.

*All dates are in-line with UK Government statements, but are subject to change, which of course is outside our control. The latest Government statement in summary form can be found here.

We hope that you will take the opportunity to start to enjoy the resumption of “normal life” and we have a full programme of events scheduled throughout the rest of the year

Any questions? Simply email us! We remain at your service.

STOP PRESS: FOR EVERY SINGLE TICKET/PLACE WE SELL IN 2021, WE WILL GIVE £1 BACK TO 'NHS CHARITIES TOGETHER'. Click here to visit our pledge page. You help the NHS by simply buying a gift voucher from us or a place to attend one of our tastings (virtually or in person)!


NEW TERMS AND CONDITIONS, FROM 17/03/20 (until further notice):

Customers can book with confidence as we continue to offer the flexibility to change your plans easily and without financial impact to you. For bookings made up to May 17th 2021 (or further notice), we offer:

  • Free rebooking with no amendment fees
  • Free cancellation and a credit equivalent to your original ticket price will be issued (which can in turn be used as payment on future events)
  • All credit notes issued during this period will expire on 31 December 2021 and events must be concluded by 30 March 2022.
  • The credit note is a personal credit and cannot be transferred to others
  • NO REFUNDS SHALL BE OFFERED during this abnormal period and as long as the Coronavirus is considered a threat by the UK Government, AS CREDIT NOTES WILL BE ISSUED INSTEAD.
  • Existing gift vouchers with expiry dates ranging from 17 March 2020 and 31 December 2020 will be given an extension, and will therefore only expiry on 31 December 2022, and events must be concluded by 30 March 2023.

Any queries, please email us. (Updated last on March 26th 2021.)

Being able to give my customers reassurance that their gift vouchers would stay valid throughout these uncertain times was one of my top priorities when I had to set new Terms and Conditions on 17 March 2020 when I took the sad but necessary decision to postpone many of our tastings and courses. Indeed, I am offering you a substantial extension to your expiry date, as ALL gift vouchers purchased back in both 2018 and 2019 are now valid until 31 December 2021 - no exceptions.
Furthermore, ALL gift vouchers purchased throughout 2020 will now have a THREE-YEAR expiry date instead of the usual two we offer. I do hope that these extensions are to the satisfaction of my esteemed customers, new and old. Please stay safe and healthy,


Here are our very own safety and hygiene measures for running in-venue tastings:

CORONAVIRUS 'COVID 19' UPDATE (until further notice):

Thank you for your continued support during this period. Not being able to run events in our venues, has had a huge impact on our business. Fortunately online tastings meant we have been able to keep in contact, and experience the delights of sharing a glass of wine together.

No that we are back running tastings face-to-face in our venues, you'll have the same great experiences as before covid-19 but now with added measures to ensure your safety. This is what to expect when you attend one our events:

  • Hand Sanitiser will be available at all our events
  • Enhanced hygiene measures in place
  • Collection of guest’s personal details which will be retained for 21 days after events to facilitate track & trace
  • We will seat people together in their “bubble”
  • We will assume that each booking made is per family bubble. If you need to socially distance within your group, please let us know.
  • Fewer people at our events, so we can ensure adequate 1m+ social distancing in place between different groups
  • Collection of guest’s personal details which will be retained for 21 days after events to facilitate track & trace
  • Spittoons will not be provided
  • To reduce the shared handling of items, all wines will be poured for guests
  • Events will finish at 9.30pm at the very latest

On the day of the event:

  • When you arrive at our venue please use a facemask. When in our wine tasting room face masks may be removed
  • Please follow (one way) signs as appropriate to our room
  • If using lifts do not share with anyone outside your family bubble
  • Please bring personal water bottles if you want, but a jug of tap water will be provided per table (a table will only ever accomodate a maximum of 2 guests, and only if they live together)
  • Tutors will wear face masks/clear shields when closer than 2m to you, eg when pouring wine.

If you aren’t ready to join us yet – no problem – we are continuing our NEW programme of Virtual tastings & Courses in your home with matched wines and food suggestions for the ultimate night in!

Your booking is safe with us, and should a venue need to close, we will ensure you don't lose out. You will be able to rebook at any time in the future with full confidence we will ready and waiting for you.


Cecile x

Ms Cecile Bergart, Proprietor



We, like all of the fantastic indie businesses in Winchester and Southampton, are adapting and are looking forward to welcoming you back as we can now safely run face-to-face tastings in our venues. Things are going to be a little different though, so we invite you to have a read at what our venues are doing - St James' Tavern in Winchester's "customer journey" pamphlet - so that you know what to expect when you return to our venues for a tasting with us. See photo (left) for measures taken at our Mercure Dolphin Hotel venue in Southampton.

The measures our venues are enforcing will make your experience with us as seamless as possible and will allow us to minimise numbers of people in the venue at any time. Therefore, we will be running at reduced capacity. Only 14 people will ever be allowed to join me at a tasting at St James' Tavern in Winchester, whereas our function room at the Mercure Dolphin Hotel in Southampton is significantly bigger and can accommodate 20 people whilst still enforcing social distancing restrictions.

Please be reassured that the facilities that remain open will be operating in the most hygienic conditions possible.

Staying safe and keeping our own customers safe during the pandemic is our main priority. Therefore, we, at the Hampshire Wine School, have adhere to the UK's Government guidelines and follow their online advice and guidance for workers and employers regarding premises re-opening, which can be found in the 'Reopen Your Business Safely ' guide.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have enhanced our exacting standards to a new level across all aspects of our business operations. The change we have implemented are based on the guidance we have received from HM Government, Public Health England and the National Health Service, supported by industry specific advice from UK Hospitality.

We can confirm that we have complied with the government’s ‘COVID-19 Secure’ guidance on managing the risk of COVID-19 in the workplace. Due to the constantly changing nature of this guidance and advice, our internal operating practices and protocols will be continuously reviewed and immediately updated. The information detailed here may therefore change without notice.

The situation is fluid still and we are hoping to gradually build back up towards normal proceedings and we are appreciative of your continued patience and support.

Any queries, please email us. Updated last on January 5th 2021. 







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