We are thrilled to have been named Wine Educator of the Year for the first time by the International Wine Challenge at their annual awards dinner. As the IWC judges commented, we have made “a massive investment into the education part of the business” at every level, and for all our customers and staff. This award is great recognition of the programme that our wine educator, Clare Whitehead, has built in a short space of time to be the best in the trade.
The IWC judges also named us Italy Specialist Merchant of the Year for the 14th time and fifth year in a row, noting that we are "leading the category", continuing to be "best in class", and are "pushing the boundaries".
We were awarded Australia Specialist Merchant of the Year too, for the third time and second year in a row. The IWC judges highlighted our "outstanding, comprehensive list which includes a high number of award winners" and "bespoke Australian trade tastings".
In addition, we were Highly Commended in the On-Trade Supplier of the Year category, which follows on from our Sommelier Wine Awards ‘Merchant of the Year’ and Drinks Business Awards ‘On-Trade Supplier of the Year’ gongs earlier this year. We were also shortlisted for IWC Large Agent of the Year (11+ employees).
Grégory Patriat, winemaker at Jean-Claude Boisset, was also celebrating last night as his ‘Clos de la Roche Grand Cru 2014’ won the IWC Champion Red Wine Trophy - having already scooped the French Red Trophy, International Pinot Noir Trophy, Burgundy Trophy and Clos de la Roche Trophy at the competition itself.
Furthermore, Cyril Brun of Champagne Charles Heidsieck and Cherie Spriggs of Nyetimber were both shortlisted for IWC Sparkling Winemaker of the Year, while the Charles Heidsieck ‘Blanc des Millénaires 1995’ was shortlisted for the Champion Sparkling Wine Trophy.
Photo: David Gleave MW accepts the IWC Wine Educator of the Year award from Ian Harris, WSET chief executive (centre) and IWC co-chairman Peter McCombie MW (right) © Rob Lawson Photography Ltd