About the latest government measures on covid-19: 

Health Secretary Mr Matt Hancock announced that social gatherings of more than six people in England will not be allowed in law from Monday 14 September.

However, please note that this new rule does not apply to schools and workplaces, ie this rule does not affect the Hampshire Wine School as our purpose is educational and therefore falls into their exception to the rule. Furthermore, BBC political correspondent Nick Eardley pointed out that pubs and restaurants (ie the venues where we hold our tastings) would be allowed to have more than six customers inside, but that the groups of six would have to be socially distant from each other. 

The rationale behind allowing this, but not allowing larger groups of people inside other people's homes, is that businesses can only be open if they follow safety and hygiene measures set out by the government, Mr Matt Hancock added.

Furthermore, please note that both our venues (St James' Tavern in Winchester and Dolphin Hotel in Southampton) need to close their doors at exactly 10pm. We, in turn, aim to finish our tastings at 9.15pm at the very latest in order to ensure safe bar closure on time. 

Please note that the county of Hampshire has been placed in Tier 1, ie is a 'medium risk' alert area. Nowadays, Government's 'traffic light' system sees parts of the country placed in different categories depending on their rates of infection, and being part of Tier 1 means that the Hampshire Wine School can continue to operate and that it is still safe for all of us to attend face-to-face tastings in Hampshire.

Here are our very own safety and hygiene measures (please carry on reading):

CORONAVIRUS 'COVID 19' UPDATE - FROM SEPTEMBER 2020 (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 wine tasting meant we have been able to keep in contact, and experience the delights of sharing a glass of wine together.

But we are excited that from September we will be running in-venue tasting events again.

Same great experiences 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 tme in the future with full confidence we will ready and waiting for you.


Cecile x

Ms Cecile Bergart, Proprietor



We are delighted to announce that our face-to-face tastings and courses are starting again and are ready to be booked at yoour earliest convenience. Please take this opportunity to start redeeming both your gift vouchers AND your credit notes. We arre very much looking forward to welcoming you again in person from September onwards! Please click here to be re-directed to our long list of forthcoming events for the last term of 2020.


We, like all of the fantastic indie businesses in Winchester and Southampton, are adapting and are looking forward to welcoming you back when we can safely run face-to-face tastings in our venues, when they themselves re-open from July 4th onwards. Things are going to be a little different, 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 12 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.


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 30th of May 2020 (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 today (17 March 2020) and 31 August 2020 will be given an extension, and will therefore only expiry on 31 December 2021, and events must be concluded by 30 March 2022.

Any queries, please email us. Updated last on 30 August 2020. 







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