Decanter World Wine Awards regional chair Richard Juhlin has been awarded France's highest honour for his efforts to promote Champagne.
Juhlin was presented with the Legion d’Honneur by France’s ambassador to his native Sweden, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, in Stockholm last week. Lacroix paid tribute to Juhlin’s services to Champagne.
After the ceremony, Juhlin told decanter.com that the award is different from the previous prizes he has won within the wine industry.
‘To be awarded such a prestigious non-wine related accolade, this is a real achievement and I’m extremely proud.
‘What I’ve been fighting for is to share the greatness of Champagne,’ he said, describing it as the greatest sparkling wine on earth.
Swedish-born Juhlin is the new Champagne regional chair for the 2014 Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA), and is widely known as a leading authority on the French region’s wines.
The Legion d’Honneur was created by Napolean Bonaparte at the start of the 19th Century. There are several ranks to the medal, and Juhlin has been given the highest rank of ‘chevalier’ – roughly the equivalent of a Knighthood from the Queen in the UK.
Generally, the Legion d’Honneur is only open to French nationals, although exceptions are made. Other recipients include Franca Sozzani, editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia and the late Harry Patch, Britain’s last surviving veteran of World War One, who died in 2009.
Written by Chris Mercer