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Shortlist announced for Harpers French Wine Awards

Published:  10 October, 2013

The shortlist for the inaugural Harpers French Wine Awards has been announced and includes who the trade see as being the best performing retailers, supplilers and indiviudals in promoting and selling French wine in the UK.

The winners of the awards will be held at the end of Harpers first France Summit being held at London's St Ermin's hotel on October 22. The day will also include a series of masterclasses, panel debates and specialist tastings providing the trade with a one stop shop in to looking at how better they might be able to source, sell and promote French wine in the UK. The day will also give the trade a unique opportunity to quiz Master Sommelier, and former World Sommelier of the Year, Gerard Basset, on how he sees the best way to promote and range French wine in the on-trade.

The shortlist for the France Wine Awards, which has been pulled together from votes of leading players across the multiple and independent on and off-trades, as well as suppliers, distributors, consultants and journalists, are as follows:

France Wine Awards shortlist

Best Supermarket
Marks & Spencer

Best Distributor/Supplier
Bancroft Wine
Georges Barbier
Les Cave De Pyrene
Matthew Clark

Best Independent Merchant (Large)
Berry Bros & Rudd
Cambridge Wine Merchants

Best Independent Merchant (Small)
James Nicholson
Raeburn Fine Wines
Lea & Sandeman
Taurus Wines

Best Restaurant French Wine List
The Boundary
Club Gascon/Cellar Gascon
Le Gavroche
Green Man & French Horn

Best Regional Restaurant French Wine List
La Garrigue
Le Manoir
Terra Vina

French Wine Critic
Jane Anson
Andrew Jefford
Rose Murray Brown MW (The Scotsman)
Jancis Robinson

Best Ambassador for French Wine

Gerard Basset
Louise Hurren
Ronan Sayburn
Doug Wregg

Harpers will also be announcing a Special Recognition Award.

The France Summit includes two keynote industry debates.

Debate one (11.05am-12.10pm): What is the best way to source wine from France?
Key speakers lined up for this first session include Clive Donaldson, Morrisons; Rebecca Palmer, Corney & Barrow; Raul Diaz, Jascots Wine Merchants; Alistair Morrell, The Wine Fusion; Alex Canneti, Berkmann Wine Cellars; Nik Darlington, Red Squirrel Wine; Beverly Tabbron, Hallgarten Druitt; Matthew Dickinson, Dickinson Associates; Guy Adams, Heritage Wine as well as contributions from a number of our French wine partners, including Tim North of Les Grand Chais de France and Olivier Legrand of Inter Rhone.

Debate two (2.50pm-4pm): Is the UK making the most of its French wine offer?
The line-up of speakers includes: Hal Wilson, Cambridge Wine Merchants; Lucy Clements, Tesco; Waitrose; Direct Wines; Clive Donaldson, Morrisons; Master Sommeliers Gerard Basset, Hotel TerraVina, and Ronan Sayburn; Beverly Tabbron, Hallgarten Druitt; Richard Verney, DropWines; Mike Matthews, North & South Wines and a number of contributors from the morning debate. The panel debates will be held in an open forum and all delegates will be able to take part and share their views along with the guest speakers.


The day will also include a series of masterclasses presented by Master Sommliers Gerard Basset and Ronan Sayburn, and Oddbins wine buyer, Ana Sapungiu. These will be opens sessions on a first come basis. They include:

10.15am-11am: Hitting the sweet spot with France (between £7-£15), by Ronan Sayburn MS.

12.15pm-1pm: France: the wine road less travelled. Gerard Basset MS OBE will give a personal journey through French wine with his choice of more unusual wines.

2pm-2.45pm: Debunking the myth: delivering value from premium France, by Oddbins buyer, Ana Sapungiu.

4.15pm-5pm: Wine clinic: adding French style to a wine list with Gerard Basset MS OBE.

The day will feature wines and tasting areas and key figures from each of the France Summit partners, which include FranceAgriMer, Vins de Loire, Les Vins de Centre Loire, Chablis, Côtes du Rhône Wines, Les Grand Chais de France, Les Producteurs Plaimont, Provence Wines, Yvon Mau and Pays d'Oc IGP.

There is still time to register or volunteer to take part in any of the trade debates. For more information or to register for the France Summit then contact Joanna Gibson at