The Rockpool Group’s beverage director and sommelier David Lawler, has announced he’ll leave the Sydney restaurant group this month to start his own business venture. 

Lawler will be replaced by the current head sommelier of Rockpool est. 1989, Sebastian Crowther MS, who will move to Melbourne to assume the beverage director role and management of the wine lists for Rockpool Bar & Grill, Spice Temple and Rosetta Ristorante. 

Rockpool Bar & Grill’s sommelier Yuki Hirose will be replacing Sebastian Crowther as head sommelier of the soon-to-open Eleven Bridge.

Chef and director of the group, Neil Perry, said he and his management team are disappointed to be losing Lawler but they wish him well for the future. 

“David has been an integral part of our Melbourne team for 10 years and while we will miss his wine knowledge and meticulous management of our wine lists, he will be a great success in his own business,” said Perry.

Crowther is one of only two Master Sommeliers in Australia and has been with the Rockpool Group for almost two years.  He is heavily involved in the Australian wine industry as a consultant, educator and wine judge and is a past recipient of Gourmet Traveller WINE’s Judy Hirst award (2012) as well as the Sydney Morning Herald’s Sommelier of the Year award (2015). 

“Sebastian has very big shoes to fill but we know he will do an outstanding job in managing the beverage lists and more than 30 wine and bar staff.  He is incredibly talented, knowledgeable and personable, and he will be a great asset to our Melbourne restaurants,” Perry said.  

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