The Circle of Wine Writers announced in a ceremony on Monday that Alexandra Harper is this year’s winner of the Young Wine Writer of the Year award.
Harper, who works for fine wine merchant Bancroft Wines and is currently studying towards her MW, won the award for her entry entitled: ‘A surprise encounter with 007 – Tasting wine with new eyes’.
The budding wine writer saw off 32 others to claim this year’s prize including nine shortlisted by the judges: Amanda Barnes, Naomi Bedford, Nik Byrne, Lous Dongray Jones, Barbara Drew, Will Heslop, Martin Klimmek and Laura Vickers.
Due to the high quality number of entries three runners-up were selected: Amanda Barnes, Nik Byrne and Barbara Drew, with each receiving wine presented by Yvonne May of Wine Australia.
The main prize included a £1000 cheque presented by Pavilion Books, a two-week trip to the wine regions of Australia courtesy of Wine Australia and a year’s subscription to the Circle of Wine Writers.
Speaking about her win, Alexandra told Decanter.com: ‘I am absolutely over the moon to have won and have the Cheshire Cat smile to prove it.
‘I get so much pleasure from getting lost in wine I wanted to see if I could effectively communicate that to others; to show there is a world out there beyond sterile notes.
‘I certainly wasn’t expecting to win and had been happily preparing my ‘gracious loser’ face when they called my name. It was a delightful shock to say the least.
‘It is an amazing opportunity that Pavilion Books, CWW and Wine Australia have given me and I don’t intend to waste it. With a trip of a lifetime to Australia on the horizon, some writing, blogging and tweeting will certainly prove a welcome distraction to the looming 2nd year MW exams.’
Fiona Holman, editorial director of Pavilion Books, said: ‘This award aims to encourage new writing talent within the world of wine and to provide a real opportunity for some inspiring travel to the vineyards and wineries of Australia.
‘We are looking for wine writing potential rather than extensive knowledge or experience. We had a record number of quality entries this year which was most encouraging and I am sorry we could not give out more awards. I urge all this year’s entrants still eligible to enter again next year.’
The award, now in its 12th year, is sponsored by Pavilion Books, the Circle of Wine Writers and Wine Australia. It aims to encourage and support new talent in the world of wine writing.
Written by Georgina Hindle