Champagne Academy celebrates 60 years

The Champagne Academy has celebrated its 60th anniversary and launched the 2016 programme of its annual trip to Champagne next month (June).

The academy says the trip will provide an in-depth insight into France’s most famous sparkling wine region. This will include lectures by the principals and winemakers of grande marque houses, visits to their vineyards, press houses, cellars and bottling plants, and a range of tutored tastings.

These visitors sit daily tests and a final exam. Successful candidates are awarded the ‘Champagne Academy Diploma’ and invited to join the academy.

The organisation is a gathering of top flight champagne houses, co-operating to put grandes marques 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.

The Champagne Academy was established 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.

Each year 16 people working in the UK and Ireland wine trades are nominated as candidates for the course in Champagne by the houses. Then the 16 houses host the candidates during their stay, giving them the opportunity to meet the families and other key personnel of the member houses.

Academy chairman Philip Amps (pictured): “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. Everyone who works in the industry should aspire to attend the Champagne Academy Course."

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