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Jeunes Sommeliers Competition 2012

Cape Town, September 21, 2012

The Winner of the 2012 International Final was Christopher Bates representing the Bailliage of the USA.

The announcement was made at the Awards Ceremony held at The Table Bay Hotel in the heart of the V&A Waterfront overlooking the harbour and Table Mountain.

Arnaud Bardary
of the Bailliage of Great Britain was the Runner-up. Third place was awarded to Yuki Hirose of the Bailliage of Australia.

This 6th International Final of the Jeunes Sommeliers Competition saw the prestigious event being held on the African Continent for the first time.

The Chaîne’s annual international competition is designed to improve knowledge and skills among wine professionals in the 21 to 35-year-old age group. Contestants qualify to represent their countries through winning a series of regional and national competitions.

Here is the full list of competitors who took part in the 2012 Final:

Australia - Yuki Hirose   |   Austria – Jürgen Witschko   |   China – Li Mei Yu   |   Denmark – Sabina Sunne
 Finland – Markku Niemi   |   Germany – Peter Müller   |   Great Britain – Arnaud Bardary
Russia – Anna Sviridenko   |   South Africa – Jeff Lopes   |   Switzerland – Simone Ragusa
Turkey – Gὂrkem Öztὓrk   |   USA – Christopher Bates

The twelve young wine professionals faced a panel of experts during the day-long competition. Their tasks included:

- demonstration of practical skills in red wine decanting, glass service, champagne service, food and wine pairing
- identification of spirits by nose alone
- blind wine tasting
- two theoretical skills tests: correcting an error-riddled wine list and a one-hour written exam about the wines
  and wine regions of the world.

Chaired by the CEO of the European Court of Master Sommeliers, Brian Julyan MS, Officier Maître Sommelier, the Panel of Judges included, the European Court of Master Sommelier’s Education Director, Bryan Dawes MS, Officier Maître Sommelier, Frank Kämmer MS, Officier Maître Sommelier, and Neil Grant, Chair of the Sommeliers Association of South Africa.

The Competition was organised by the International Jeunes Sommeliers Committee (Chair: Grand Argentier Joseph M Girard; Members: Klaus Tritschler, Marie Jones and George Brown – all Members of the Conseil d’Administration) working closely with Francois Ferreira, Bailli Délégué of South Africa, Allison Rutowitz, Bailli Délégué Honoraire and George Parkes, Echanson.

Without the considerable assistance of the Bailliage of South Africa, the Competition (including the week-long, significant programme of related visits to, for example, wineries, a distillery and a barrel maker) would not have been the success that it was.

A full, illustrated report on this 2012 Final of the Jeunes Sommeliers Competition will appear in this year's edition of the Chaîne's new format magazine: the 'Revue internationale de la Chaîne' which is due to be published in late November and circulated to members worldwide.

Marie Jones, Managing Editor

Photos: Denis Ginn, DMG Photography ( )