Meet the team behind Northern Wine School

John Callow DipWSET FWS SWS MIH – Founder & MD

The man behind The Northern Wine School.

My wine story started by accident to be completely honest. I got out of University and started a graduate scheme with Majestic Wine. Now, I’d never been into wine before that really. I knew there were three colours of it, and that’s about where my expertise extended to. But after studying for my first WSET, I was hooked on the world of wine. And I knew I wanted to devote my life to it.

In 2014, I took the plunge and set up the Northern Wine School and we’ve been going ever since. 

Passing one course after another, and eventually the Wine Educator Course, I found I had a flair for talking in front of groups of fellow wine aficionados about my passion for wine. And word spread.

I love learning, and feel a good educator should always keep their skills up to date. I am an official educator for a number of wine bodies including Sherry, Rioja, Champagne & Bordeaux wines.

He’s partial to a German Riesling, or nice aged Rioja.

Jason Sheldon – Admin, Exams & Communications Officer

Jason has worked in the wine and spirits (and other alcohol) industry, from many different angles, for several years now. From Hospitality and Retail, to Importing and Advertising…

He’s always had a love of alcohol academia though and considers that to be his calling. He’s been a very successful tutor and educator for over half a decade, with an exemplary pass-rate might we add, but he’s also a keen student and never stops wanting to learn more.

He’s got a penchant for Sherry, Sake and Tequila and only ever seems to go to vineyards on holiday. No vines, no vibes.

Jack Tovey – Wine Presenter

Jack has worked in the wine industry for over 12 years, most of which has been in retail giving him a very keen eye to spot the bargains in the shops! He gained his WSET level 3 early in his wine career.

His work and passion for wine has led him to visit over 150 vineyards all over the world. He has worked at various wineries on everything from picking to bottling.

When he’s not improving his wine product knowledge at home, he can be found exploring the food and drink scene on his doorstep in the centre of Manchester.

Paul Witkowski DipWSET – Wine Presenter & WSET Educator

Paul’s wine journey started a long time ago. When visiting France on holiday, the lure of ‘degustation’ led him to want to learn more. He stumbled on the WSET courses, and the rest is history. (Fun fact: Paul took the L2 so long ago, it not only included spirits, but beer too!)

Fast forward many years, Paul now holds the WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines and Spirits, the Level 3 in Spirits and is also a WSET Certified Educator.

Paul focusses mainly on teaching the WSET L1, L2 and L3 in wines qualifications, with the occasional consumer event when he can fit it in with his day job in financial services.

A committed Francophile, he’s also fond of all styles of sherry, will never say no to Rioja or most things from California, especially a Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. But please don’t mention White Zinfandel or Pinotage…

Now you’ve met our wonderful team, why not book one of our Manchester wine tasting events? We’d love to see you there! Not keen on wine? No problem! We also host a variety of gin, whisky, rum, beer & Sake sessions. Take a look at our current events calendar here, or find out more about our private and corporate Manchester tasting events: