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Published:  23 July, 2008

By Anastasia Edwards

Women of Wine UK (WOW), a new organisation aimed at providing a forum for women in the wine and spirits trade, has announced that its launch will take place on 10 January at a Champagne party in central London. The party is in part sponsored by Gosset Champagne, and will also feature wine from Domaine du Closel-Chteau des Vaults, produced by founding WOW committee member Isaure de Pontbriand-Cribiore. Peter McKinley, head of McKinley Vintners, agent for Gosset Champagne, said: I have been impressed and inspired by a number of women in the wine trade and I feel that Women of Wine is an admirable forum for the exchange of ideas.' Jancis Robinson MW, who will be WOW's patron for its inaugural year, will be the party's guest of honour. The party is being hosted by WOW's founding committee: Josie Butchart, staff writer, Harpers; Anastasia Edwards, chief sub editor, Harpers; Rebecca Fraser, brand manager, McKinley Vintners; Astrid Lewis, education officer, The Institute of Masters of Wine; Rebecca Palmer, wine consultant; de Pontbriand-Cribiore, wine producer; Andrea Stewart, senior marketing executive, Berry Bros & Rudd. WOW's guiding principles include the following: to provide a forum for organising networking events, topical debates, tasting experiences and social events for women working in or directly involved with the wine trade; to enable women to share ideas and contacts, and to learn from other women working in the industry; to ensure the membership is as inclusive as possible, with minimum costs for membership and events. Membership will be open to all women working in the trade, seeking to enter the trade or simply passionate about wine. To commemorate the event, the 7 January issue of Harpers will be the magazine's first women's issue. The WOW launch party will take place at Yauatcha, 15 Broadwick Street, London W1F 0DL, from 7pm. The event is open to all women in the wine and spirits trade. Tickets are 25, to be paid in advance. RSVP to and post cheques, payable to Women of Wine, to Rebecca Fraser, 37 Hemstal Road, London NW6 2AD.