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The Champagne Academy celebrates 60 years and unveils its 2016 course programme

Published:  11 May, 2016

At a dinner at The Lanesborough Hotel in London on Monday, The Champagne Academy celebrated its 60th anniversary and launched the 2016 programme of its annual course trip to Champagne in June.

The trip provides an in-depth Champagne education experience for 16 young members of the wine trade, including lectures by the principals and winemakers of Grande Marques Champagne Houses, visits to their vineyards, press houses, cellars and bottling plants, and tutored tastings.

Candidates sit daily tests and a final exam and if successful, receive the prestigious Champagne Academy Diploma and are invited to join The Champagne Academy.

The academy was founded in 1956 in recognition of the UK and Ireland as key markets for Champagne, and to encourage the appreciation of Grandes Marques Champagnes within the wine trades in these countries.

The course's objective is to educate members of the trade who would not otherwise be able to study Champagne in depth.

Philip Amps is Chairman of The Champagne Academy this year.

"Since its beginning in 1956, the Champagne Academy has given hundreds of dynamic members of the UK and Ireland wine trades an unforgettable experience that stays with them for the rest of their lives and that can have a real impact on their careers," he said.

"I am making it my mission, in the Academy's 60th year, to spread the word about how special and prestigious it is to be selected as a candidate."

The Grande Marques Champagne Houses is a gathering of top Champagne houses, co-operating to put the champagnes and the region first before the interests of individual houses.

The 16 participating houses are Bollinger, Charles Heidsieck, Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, Heidsieck Monopole, Krug, Lanson, Laurent Perrier, Moët & Chandon, GH Mumm & Co, Perrier-Jouët, Piper Heidsieck, Pommery, Pol Roger, Louis Roederer, Ruinart and Taittinger.

Each year 16 people working in the UK and Ireland wine trades are nominated as candidates for the Champagne Academy Course in Champagne by the participating houses.

Then the sixteen houses jointly host and entertain the candidates during their stay, where candidates will meet the families and other key personnel of the member houses.

Champagne Academy Course graduate for 2015, Chris Rogers of Enotria Coe, said: "The course was a unique experience, getting privileged, behind the scenes access that few people will ever enjoy. To give just one example, drinking Krug Clos du Mesnil actually in Clos du Mesnil, is something that I will never forget."

The names of the 2016 Champagne Academy Course candidates are due to be revealed later this month.

UK wine trade members who are interested in applying to attend the Champagne Academy Course in 2017 should contact Val Simpson at The Champagne Academy on

Visit for more information.