Charlotte Poynton, Sommelier and Assistant Restaurant Manager at the world-renowned Three Chimneys Restaurant, has won the 'Highland Rising Star' award at the Highlands & Islands Tourism Awards 2017.

Charlotte was recognised as showing real promise as a rising star in Scottish tourism, having shown a passion for her future and the progression of the industry.

Charlotte joined The Three Chimneys team in the summer of 2015. As well as excelling in her role as Sommelier and Assistant Restaurant Manager, she has achieved her Court of Master Sommeliers, Certified Sommelier qualification, and most recently, a Royal Academy of Culinary Arts Annual Award of Excellence 2017 in the Restaurant Service final.

Charlotte Poynton, Sommelier and Assistant Restaurant Manager at The Three Chimneys, commented: "I am honoured and humbled to have been chosen by the judges as the Highland Rising Star for 2017. It still hasn't quite hit me! As 2018 will be Scotland's Year of Young People it is so exciting to see all the talent being recognised. I feel very proud to be part of that too."

The awards, which took place at the Drumossie Hotel in Inverness on Friday 3rd November 2017, are now in their 13th year and highlight and reward excellence throughout the hospitality industry within the Highlands and Islands.

The Highlands & Islands Tourism Awards 2017 website comments: "People are the essence of the tourism industry. The future of our industry lies with our young people, having the passion, ambition and dedication to want to have successful careers within this dynamic industry."

The Regional Rising Star category was open to all young people aged 30 and under as of July 2016.