Qualifying for the Left Bank Bordeaux Cup 2014 will begin in the US this month, with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) putting forward, for the first time, one of 11 student teams competing for just two places in June's final.
Last year’s winners from Cambridge University, England – Ellie JY Kim, David Beall and Vaiva Imbrasaite.
They will take on teams from other prestigious universities and institutions across the country, including Yale, Harvard, Columbia, Wharton and California’s Stanford, which has returned to the fray after several years out.
MIT already has a history of producing fine wine enthusiasts. Bill Koch, the billionaire US wine collector and renowned hunter of fakes, obtained his doctorate in science there. Koch recently gave evidence in the trial of wine fraudster Rudy Kurniawan, during which a jury heard his cellar totals 43,000 bottles.
US qualifying for the Left Bank Bordeaux Cup will take place on 21 January, with the top two teams going through to the international final hosted by Chateau Lafite in June.
‘The Left Bank Bordeaux Cup gives the opportunity to all these brilliant young students, who have had the wonderful idea of liking wine,’ said Lafite owner Eric de Rothschild.
Further qualifying rounds will take place for Asia in March, to be held in Hong Kong and Shanghai. In April, 2013 current champion Cambridge University will begin its defence of the cup at a qualifier in London, which will be open to all of Europe excluding France.
French universities and schools will have their own qualifying round in May. The competition is organised by the Commanderie du Bontemps Médoc et Graves, Sauternes et Barsac.