||THE 2012 VIN DE CHAMPAGNE AWARDS
Organised biannually on behalf of the Comite Champagne, the Award aims to celebrate and encourage the enjoyment of Champagne in Australia. Another major directive is to discover Champagne Ambassadors who will share their knowledge and appreciation of Champagne.
According to Elisabeth Drysdale, Director of the Champagne Bureau: “No other wine award like this exists in Australia or in any other major market for Champagne in the world. The award has run for over thirty years and has produced some of the finest Champagne palates in the world. Past winners actively promote Champagne in all walks of life ensuring that Australia remains in the top ten markets for importing Champagne”.
In a change to past formats, this year the award will be open to candidates in one of two categories: Professional for people who gain income from the food & wine industry; and Amateur for those experienced tasters who have a passion for Champagne.
For the first time the Champagne Bureau will be offering a student mentoring program. The program will be open to Students aged 18– 23 studying any course at any recognized educational institution. To be considered for the program students will need to apply in writing and answer one essay question.
Entrants in the Professional and Amateur sections will be required to answer a number of essay questions on Champagne viticulture, terroir and history and are expected to have some knowledge of the administrative and marketing structure of the Champagne industry. State finalists will be flown to Sydney to undergo a final judging before a panel of experts, where they will be required to show their skills in tasting a range of Champagnes selected from non-vintage, vintage, blanc de blancs and rose styles.
The winners will be announced at an invitation-only awards dinner attended by Australia’s most respected wine and food industry leaders.
Judging of the award will be conducted by author, wine-writer and former Professional Winner, Huon Hooke , wine-writer and ‘wine-man’ former Professional winner Peter Bourne, and former Amateur winner, author and Champagne educator, Bernadette O’Shea.
Winners of the Professional and Amateur sections will receive a two-week educational tour to the Champagne district, where they will be presented with their medal by the Comite Champagne and enjoy the legendary Champenois hospitality. Past winners have been overwhelmed by their visit, and for many it has marked the start of an exciting and passionate relationship with Champagne. The best student paper will win a mentoring program through the Champagne Bureau, providing them with a great foundation for future entry in the Amateur or Professional sections.
Greg Plowes, Sommelier from Tetsuya’s who won the Professional section in 2010 said “Winning the Vin de Champagne Award has given me a unique and invaluable insight into the world of Champagne that is without parallel. It has been a special opportunity for me to broaden my knowledge and share my enthusiasm for this remarkable beverage. I found myself standing in the legendary houses of Champagne, speaking to their producers and growers first hand and drinking history itself!”
Past winners of this prestigious award include some of Australia’s most knowledgeable wine industry personnel winemakers, journalists, restaurateurs, commentators and educators.
Entries out: 2nd April, 2012
Entries due: 27th July, 2012
For more information, please contact:-
Elisabeth Drysdale, Director, Champagne Bureau
Ph: (02) 9555 8891