Janie Harding-Edgar

Industry Experience / current role

Owned and Managed several Wine Bars over in the heyday years of the 80’s. Moved into Event Managing first working for Millburn’s within the V&A The British Museum and The Globe Theatre and then running my own business. For the past 16 years I have held the Catering Contract for a large Property company in central London retiring from that post last August.

Memorable Moment/ Champagne from your year on course 1986

1986 – Was the first year that 2 women had attended the course!! Caroline Mack ( Symington as she is now and myself! ) A truly memorable evening was spent at the beautiful Chateau de Saran ( owned by Moet & Chandon) Only three of the course were able to stay there - so along with Caroline and Lance Jefferson I watched the sun go down over the beautiful grounds being entertained by the lovely English couple who were then Caretakers- drinking Magnums of Moet until the early hours.

Fond but difficult times memories of being Chairman --

Being Chairman isn’t always about the Champagne and the good times ( as all past Chairman will confirm!) In 2002 during my Chairmanship – attendance figures by both Academicians at the Events was poor and the representation of Houses was low. The Committee and myself felt we needed to act to address these issues and arranged a trip to France to meet with all the Houses to discuss our worries and to see how the Houses actually felt about the Academy and its role over in the UK.

Frank and open discussions with the representatives from the Houses were a huge success and we were able to agree and implement certain changes which we believed would strengthen the ‘Old Boys’ Association, ensuring its relevance and importance into the future.Firstly it was agreed that from 2003 each Academician was able to invite a guest to the Annual Dinner ( before only Academicians were allowed to attend !)Secondly the process of nominating and electing the candidates for the yearly course was tweaked to ensure that the most appropriate and enthusiastic were put forward and we also agreed that one place would be given to a WSET candidate who had shown particular interest and knowledge of Champagne AND we purchased the Champagne Academy.co.uk domain for exactly £10.00 !! to bring us into the ever evolving world of IT!

Memories from Our 50th Anniversary Celebrations

I was also lucky to be asked to organise ( from this end of the channel !) our 50th Anniversary celebrations held in July 2006 over in France. There are so many wonderful memories of heavenly lunches dinners ( and the odd bottle or Magnum !) with old friends from the UK and France – but the two memories I hold most dear are The Garden Party held at Moet & Chandon on a lovely Summers Day and the 16 special Vintage Champagnes from each House ( chosen by each Chef de Cave ) which were auctioned by a Bonhams Auctioneer at our 50th Celebration dinner at the Savoy organised by David Garlick our Chairman that year. Wow!!

Favourite Tipple

Cuvee Louise Pommery ( Any vintage – but the 1995 was stunning !!! )

Chairman Year

2002

Academy Year

1986

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