Since 2007, La Chaine has held an annual International Jeunes (Young) Sommeliers Competition to offer young sommeliers (no older than 30 years) an opportunity to present their skills under highly competitive, intense and gruelling testing conditions.
Six finalists from Australia's finest restaurants battled it out in a number of gruelling written, tasting and service tests for a chance to represent Australia at the International Final, which this year is being held in Mexico City in September 2018.
The standard this year was extremely good and augers well for the future of the sommelier community in Australia.
Norm Harrison, Bailli Delegue d'Australie (Australian President) presented $3,000 cash and an all expenses paid trip to Mexico courtesy of La Chaine Australia as well as the James Halliday Trophy.
All finalists received gifts from La Chaine Australia.
Australia has been highly successful within the International Competition in recent years. Last year in Budapest Mickael Grou from Sails Restaurant in Noosa achieved the Silver Medal.
In 2016 in Vaduz Emmanuel Cadieu from Felix Restaurant took out the Bronze Medal. In 2015 in Adelaide Mattia Cianca from Attica Restaurant placed 3rd. In 2014 Australia took out Gold in Copenhagen, when Pier-Alexis Soupier from Est was crowned World Champion.
Assisting in the development of these high achieving Sommeliers John Studdert, Echanson, La Chaine Australia and Australia Chairman of the Jury for Australia said that, 'All finalists this year would have been credible and highly competitive at the international finals'.
This competition provides a great opportunity for emerging Australian sommeliers to hone their skills and become exposed to the international sommelier community through La Chaine.
The standard of the competition itself is designed to assist in the development of these high achieving sommeliers. La Chaine Australia supports this competition as part of its commitment to the hospitality industry.
Two of Australia's three Master Sommeliers, Frank Moreau MS, Group Sommelier Merivale,
and Sebastian Crowther MS,
Beverage Director - Premium Restaurants Vic / WA provided expert judging and awarded the Gold Medal
A special thank you for the strong support from the industry itself with the Mayfair Hotel, the Association of Australian Boutique Winemakers,
Samuel Smith & Son, Red + White Wines and Time in Tuscany Villas at Podernuovo providing wonderful sponsorship.