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The wine women of the year

On May 11, the 10 finalists competing in the 2009 Wine Woman awards gathered at the Hotel Bristol in Paris for the final competition and award ceremony. James Graham reports

In this final event of the contest, a prestigious jury of wine professionals, including previous Wine Woman awards winners judged the candidates on their wine knowledge, their tasting skills, and their ability to communicate about wine to decide the winners of the Wine Woman awards in the professional and amateur competitions.

Isabelle Legeron was selected by the jury as the winner of the 2009 Wine Woman award in the professional competition. Originally from France, she has been living in London for 12 years. She is a wine aficionado who has a passion for communicating her love of wine to as many people as possible. Wine journalist, educator and founder of Wine Lab, a wine tasting company, she also hosts a television wine show, 'Journey into Wine' which broadcasts on the Travel Channel in 117 countries and in 15 languages. Isabelle is on the final dissertation stage of the Master of Wine qualification.

In the amateur competition, the jury selected Marie-Antoinette de Szczypiorski as the winner of the 2009 Wine Woman award. She is French and lives in Dijon. She pursued legal studies and works for the government. She became a member of the Chevaliers du Tastevin but was intimidated by wine jargon. After acquiring a University de Dijon degree in Tasting and Terroir and a tasting degree from the Bureau Interprofessionnel des vins de Bourgogne, she now has the tools to share and communicate her passion and knowledge of wine.

The 10 finalists, representing 30 countries, had been selected from 400 candidates who entered the contest. Five finalists competed in the professional competition and five in the amateur competition.
The awards ceremony was followed by a sumptuous dinner featuring the talent of Le Bristol’s 3 star Michelin chef Eric Frechon.

for the professional competition was composed of: Sylvie Cazes Régimbeau, president Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux; Olivier Poussier, World Best Sommelier 2000; Christine Forner, president of Marques de Caceres; David Cobbold, journalist; Véronique Rivest, Wine Woman 2007, sommelier, educator and columnist; Amy Mumma, Wine Woman 2005, director of the oenology department, Washington State University.

for the amateur competition was composed of: Jean Lenoir, Le Nez du Vin creator; Jaime Araujo, Terravina founder, specialised in wine marketing; Jacques Boudin, master-sommelier and restaurateur; Pierre Tabarin, president of Bureau National Interprofessionnel de l’Armagnac;  Aurélie Degoul, Wine Woman 2005, product manager France for Fourcroy SA

Candidates in the professional category
Coralie Allexant Manière, oenologist, France
Barbara Engerer, wine marketing executive, German, works in France
Isabelle Legeron, journalist, French, works in Great Britain
Wendy Vallaster, sommelier, Canadian, works in Spain
Audrey Voute, export sales, French, works in Belgium

Candidates in the amateur category
Catherine Champeaux, financial manager, France
Isik Gulcubuk, food engineer, Turkey
Alma Henning, student, South Africa, studies in France
Fanny Lorcerie, physician, France
Marie-Antoinette de Szczypiorski, civil servant, France








May 09

1 May 2009 - Felicity Murray