By Amy Looker – editor National Liquor News
Entries for the 2014 Vin de Champagne Award are due to open in April, marking the 40th anniversary of the prestigious program.
Organised biannually on behalf of the Comite Champagne, the Vin de Champagne Award not only aims to celebrate and encourage the enjoyment of Champagne in Australia, but also seeks to develop a network of Champagne specialists to act as ambassadors to share their knowledge and appreciation of the wine.
Sponsored by Air France and Riedel, the award is open to candidates in two categories – Amateur, for those experienced tasters with a passion for Champagne, and Professional, for people who gain an income from the food and wine industry.
Candidates are required to answer a number of essay questions on Champagne viticulture, terroir and history, with the state finalists flown to Sydney to undergo final judging by a panel that includes previous winners and Champagne experts, along with a blind tasting.
According to the director of the Champagne Bureau of Australia, Elisabeth Drysdale, Australia has ranked among the top ten countries in the world for Champagne exports for a significant amount of time, demonstrating our nation’s ongoing love for the wine.
“This year we are celebrating the 40th anniversary of an award that has produced some of the finest Champagne palates in the world,” said Drysdale.
“Past winners do a fantastic job in actively promoting Champagne in Australia. We are currently planning a special reunion trip to Champagne for a group of forty previous winners, which for me, highlights the importance of Australia’s affinity with Champagne.”
The winners will be announced at a black tie event in Sydney, before taking off on a two-week educational tour of the Champagne region.
Entries open on Wednesday 2 April and can be downloaded by clicking here.