By Rebecca Harris
The winners of the 2008 Vin de Champagne Awards were announced on Monday (September 22) at an exclusive dinner at Guillaume at Bennelong in Sydney.
Held once every two years on behalf of the Comite Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC), the Vin de Champagne Award rewards entrants for their knowledge and appreciation of Champagne.
John Leydon, a schoolteacher from South Australia who won the ‘Amateur Section’, said that he was thrilled to have finally won.
“I’ve entered quite a few times and I’ve come very close but never quite got there. After several tries, it was great to finally win such a great competition,” he said.
The other two awards went to Martin Williams for the ‘Professional Section’ and Wiremu Andrews in the ‘Student Section’.
“From the first time I tried Champagne, I fell in love with it,” said Wiremu, who works at Bacash in South Yarra. “I think this competition is a wonderful opportunity for Champagne lovers.”
Each winner receives a two-week educational tour to the Champagne Region of France where they will receive a medal from the CIVC and experience firsthand the production of Champagne.
“It will be a fantastic time to be there because it will be midway through harvest and to see the grapes coming off the vines will be fantastic,” Leydon said.