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Published:  23 July, 2008

By Natasha Hughes

Marne & Champagne, the company that owns Lanson, has just announced that the 2005 Prix du Champagne Lanson has been cancelled. Although Marne has yet to confirm the cancellation officially, it seems that it is only the UK version of the awards that has been cancelled - Lanson is committed to fulfilling its awards programme elsewhere in Europe over the course of the year. I'm very sad that such a prestigious and long-standing award has been postponed,' said PR executive Deborah Collinson, who has been involved with organising the annual awards for the past 15 years, but the company wants to revitalise it and relaunch it in 2006.' And Susan Keevil, who won a Lanson in 2003 as co-editor of the Which? Wine Guide, added: It's very disappointing. Whereas the Glenfiddich awards are more book-oriented, the Lanson was focused on wine journalism. As a journalist, you don't write either books or articles with awards in mind, of course, but it's nice to have the recognition of your peers.' Andrew Jefford, another past Lanson winner, echoed Keevil's views: The fact that all the judges were intimately involved in wine in one way or another made the judging scrutiny perhaps a more informed one,' he said. The awards ceremony always felt a little like a family party, and we will miss it.' Even if the Lansons return in 2006, the Circle of Wine Writers, which has been a co-sponsor of the awards since their inception, has decided to have no further involvement with them in light of Marne et Champagne's failure to inform the Circle of its decision to cancel. At last year's awards, Harpers' contributing editor Neil Beckett was named Champagne Writer of the Year for his work in the 2003 Harpers Champagne supplement.