We certainly love our Champagne! Last year, Australia imported 8,110,106 bottles of Champagne, which represents a 24.3% increase on 2014 and makes us the 6th largest Champagne market in the world.
This week Sydney celebrated the launch of the 42nd biennial Vin de Champagne Award, one of Australia’s most coveted wine awards honouring Australia’s long-standing relationship with the Champagne region of France.
"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," comments Elisabeth Drysdale, Director of the Champagne Bureau Australia.
Organised on behalf of the Comité Champagne, the Vin de Champagne Award not only aims to celebrate and encourage the enjoyment of Champagne in Australia, it also seeks to develop a network of Champagne specialists to act as Ambassadors who promote the Champagne Appellation by sharing their knowledge and appreciation of the wine in Australia.
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.
Entrants in both categories are required to answer essay questions about Champagne’s history, viticulture and wine-making, and are expected to display knowledge of the organization of the Champagne industry. State ﬁnalists are ﬂown to Sydney where a panel of experts judges the entrants’ skills in a blind tasting of Champagne wines. The judging of the Award is carried out by a panel of industry experts and past winners. These authorities include wine writer Huon Hooke, 'The Wine Man' Peter Bourne. and author and Champagne educator, Bernadette O’Shea. The winners will be announced on the evening of the ﬁnal judging at an invitation-only dinner attended by Australia’s most respected wine and food industry luminaries.