Champagne Bureau, Australia has announced the 11 finalists in the 42nd biennial Vin de Champagne Awards.

Finalists were selected in the following categories:


  • Peta Baverstock – cellar door manager, Loaves & Fishes (SA)
  • Samantha Faircloth – area manager, Negociants Australia (Qld)
  • Anja Lewis  – wine training and consulting, Canny Grapes (WA)
  • Kara Maisano – sommelier, Masani Italian Dining & Terrace (Vic)
  • Cameron O’Keefe – sommelier, Centra (Vic)
  • Saskia Valenti – Jane Brook Estate Wines (WA)


  • Nicky Goodyer – florist, Aahh Flowers  (NSW)
  • Tim Heath – marketing operations, Telstra (NSW)
  • Sara Underdown – corporate writer (SA)
  • Nicole Smith – practice manager, Sunshine Eye Clinic (Qld)
  • Michael Solomons – CEO, The Queens Club (NSW)

Entrants answered essay questions about Champagne’s viticulture, terroir and history, and were expected to display comprehensive knowledge of the Champagne industry.

Finalists will be flown to Sydney on 26 September. A panel of experts will judge the entrants’ knowledge of the industry and aptitudes in a blind tasting of Champagne. Judges include Huon Hooke, Peter Bourne and Bernadette O’Shea. A winner from each category will be announced the evening of the judging, at a black tie event at the Four Seasons Hotel where chef Mark Best from Pei Modern will create a menu to match a selection of Champagnes.

The prize for the two winners is a two-week educational tour through the Champagne district, where the Comite Champagne will present them with their medal.

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