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Champagne Agents respond to criticism

Published:  18 January, 2007

I write following our review of the 13th Annual Champagne Tasting at the last Champagne Agents' Association Committee meeting, and in response to various comments and articles in the press, not least Tom Stevenson's London fizzically challenged' (Harpers, 21 April).

Rather than address comments on an individual basis, I will simply acknowledge that the change of venue and format did not work as intended.

However, that will not deter us from striving to have a tasting format that meets the needs of both trade and press.

I am encouraged by the vociferousness of the comments, as it demonstrates the high esteem in which the tasting is held, and provides a strong incentive to strive for improvement.

The Champagne Agents Association Committee and the Champagne Information Bureau have already agreed to reinstate the Non-Vintage table and individual shippers' tables.

Comments about the venue and logistics will be heeded, and the tasting will return to Banqueting House if an alternative venue cannot be found.

All the feedback we have received, about press appointments, Vintages being shown in Vintage flights and the style of the third Champagne, will be taken on board.

The Champagne Agents' Association and the Champagne Information Bureau are already working together to ensure that the 14th Annual Champagne Tasting in the leading export market for Champagne will be the best.

David Hesketh MW

Chairman, Champagne Agents' Association