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2007 Young Wine Writer announced

Published:  23 July, 2008

Ray O'Connor, sales and marketing manager for the International Wine Challenge has been announced as this year's winner of the Young Wine Writers Award.

O'Connor, who succeeds 2006 winner and Harpers staff writer Rebecca Gibb, secured the accolade for his story on Indian wines, described by chair of the Circle of Wine Writers Christopher Fielden as "a very interesting seam for a series of articles, introducing the reader to probably unknown wines."

O'Connor has previously worked in the Rhne Valley as a cellar hand and was a sommelier at Gordon Ramsey's Maze restaurant.

Before taking up his current position, O'Connor was wine manager for the Decanter World Wine Awards.

He said: "I honestly didn't expect to win but I'll certainly be writing more from now on."

To secure the Wine Australia and Pavilion books-sponsored award, he beat off short listed entries including Richard Hemming and Rebecca Skinner, and has secured a 1,000 prize and a two-week trip to Australia.

He hopes to visit the Clare Valley, which he described as "similar to Germany. It's rare that a New World country is so akin."

The award was started in 2001 by publishers Websters International, and is now overseen by Oz Clarke and Michael Broadbent's publishers Pavilion Books.