By Andy Young
The 42nd biennial Vin de Champagne Award, which honours Australia's long-standing relationship with the Champagne region, has launched today.
The Award aims to develop a network of Champagne specialists to act as ambassadors across Australia and also celebrates and encourages the (responsible) enjoyment of Champagne in this country.
Elisabeth Drysdale, Director of the Champagne Bureau Australia, said: “Australia continues to drive the growth of Champagne within its top export markets. Education is an important component in helping this growth. Our network of Vin de Champagne winners throughout Australia successfully provides a unique role in educating people that Champagne only comes from Champagne.”
The Award invites candidates to apply in one of two categories: Professional, for people who gain an income working in the food and wine industry; and Amateur, for those experienced tasters who have a passion for Champagne. Entry forms and questions can be obtained from the Champagne Bureau Australia website.
The grand prize for the two winners is a two-week educational tour through the Champagne district where they are presented with their medal by the Comité Champagne and enjoy the illustrious Champenois hospitality.
Tom Warrell, winner of the amateur category of the 2014 Vin de Champagne Award and the youngest ever winner of the Award, said: “There is no better way to celebrate the world of Champagne than by providing Amateurs and Professionals alike a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit the region with unparalleled access. I’d recommend anyone with an interest in wine to take part in this great program.”
Entry forms are available from today and must be submitted by Friday, 8 July 2016.
Australia remains an important and robust market for Champagne. Recently released figures place Australia as the sixth largest import market in the world. In 2015, Australia imported 8,110,106 bottles of Champagne, which represents a 24.3 per cent increase on 2014.