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Geoffrey Roberts Award 2016 launches

Published:  19 January, 2016

Entrance is now open for the Geoffrey Roberts Award 2016.

Entrance is now open for the Geoffrey Roberts Award 2016.

Founded in 1996, the annual award, which was set up to further the cause of New World or emerging region wines, is worth £4,000.

It has been administered by The Vintner's Company on behalf of the Geoffrey Roberts Trust since 2013.

Entrants must have a track record in the development or promotion of New World or emerging region wines.

They must also have a practical proposal for the use of the bursary.

There are no other eligibility criteria for the award, and applicants can be of any age, experience or nationality.

Every applicant is expected to complete the application, but it is understood that not every applicant will have a perfect command of the English language.

The judging panel for this year's award includes Jancis Robinson OBE, MW, Simon Berry, and Susan McCraith MW.

In 2015 the winner was Umay Ceviker, who will use the award to help fund two sustainable rural vineyards in Turkey.

Ceviker aims to raise awareness of Anatolian viticulture and encourage other wine makers to explore the region's opportunities.

Derek Mossman Knapp, owner of Chile's Garage Wine Co, who won the award in 2010, said: "The effect of the Geoffrey Roberts bursary was not just financial. More important was the attention and credibility the bursary lent the project that allowed us to dare to take it to the next level.

"Today we run a company around small crazy parcels of old-vines that take Maule to the world and make a difference in the community - and more slowly make a difference in the wine trade in Chile in general.

"If one had shown our idea of working small parcels to a group of MBA numbers experts none would have backed it, and yet with the benefit of the incubating effect of the Geoffrey Roberts funding the idea has taken off.

"Today we work a series of small parcels of old-vines maintaining them separately and celebrating each terroir- this model, that 4-5 years ago simply did not exist in Chile, owes a great deal to the Geoffrey Roberts award."

The award commemorates the life and work of Geoffrey Roberts, who led the way in importing New World wines into the UK through first Hungerford Wines and later Geoffrey Roberts Associates.

Roberts died, aged 46, in 1994.

For more information on how to apply for this year's award, please click here.

The closing date for applications is March 31, 2016.