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Sutcliffe receives Lgion d'Honneur

Published:  23 July, 2008

Serena Sutcliffe MW, head of Sotheby's International Wine Department, has become the first member of the British wine trade to become a Chevalier dans l'Ordre National de Lgion d'Honneur.

The Lgion d'Honneur - of which Chevalier is the first level of four - was created by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1804 to honour the highest level of service to France. It is superior to the more widely awarded l'Ordre National du Mrite.

Sutcliffe was honoured for her seminal role in encouraging international appreciation of French wines'. Other notable recipients include American critic Robert Parker Jr, who

was honoured in 1999.

Sutcliffe commented: It is a great honour, beyond my dreams, and I am deeply grateful that France, the country that has so enriched my life, has recognised my work. In my fourth decade of selling French wines, from the grandest to the more modest, I hope to have shown the brilliance of so many wine producers who labour for our enjoyment.'

Sutcliffe - who alongside her work at the auction house is responsible for numerous award-winning books and the establishment of Sotheby's wine courses - passed her MW in 1976, and was only the second woman to do so.

Among numerous other awards, she was admitted to the Acadmie Internationale du Vin in 1993.