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And the winner is.....2024


We are delighted to announce this years

Silver Bucket Champion as Katherine Fisher!!







This years final day of the course, was greeted by the amazing sunshine & heat the students had experienced all week, and with a slight change to the norm, we started the final exams without a Vin Clair tasting, and straight into the Blind Tasting. Following the blind tasting, the Candidates went into the final exam, on the lecture topic of Champagne Marketing & world export.


We am please to announce all of our 2024 candidates passed with flying colours, so please welcome our new Academicians;


Katherine Sarah Welby Fisher Wine Buyer Goedhuis Waddesdon

Sinead Germaine Smyth Wine Consultant Self-employed

John Robert Crozier Operations Manager Heritage Portfolio

Rachael Elizabeth Machin Wine and Gifting Buyer E H Booths

Callum Michael McCann Head Sommelier Number 1 at The Balmoral

Seoridh Ian Fraser Beverage Director Heron

Oliver Vesterman Espersen Wine Director 1 Hotel Mayfair

Rudina Arapi Head Sommelier London Hilton Park Lane

Vanessa Ann pearson Trading Manager BWS Ocado Retail

Marius Valentin Plesa Head Sommelier The Waterside Inn

Maria Boumpa Head Sommelier Da Terra Restaurant

Sevgi Tüzel Wine Consultant / Educator A WINE IDEA

Thomas Joseph Husted Hotel Manager Dakota Hotels

Natalja Senina Head Sommelier Chewton Glen Hotel

Jan Sebastiaan Van Heesvelde Head Sommelier The Ledbury

Louis Lees Jones JW Lees Opening Manager



A note from our 2024 Champion, Katherine Fisher


I will personally cherish my time at Champagne Academy, spent with a group of the most wonderful, kind and gifted people in the trade who I am delighted to call friends after this unforgettable experience.

We received the warmest of welcomes from all 16 houses whose generosity was beyond measure. I have learned so much from this week thanks to the time each House dedicated to guiding us through their vineyards and winemaking practices and, of course, tasting! Winning the Silver Bucket was the icing on the cake, and I’ll certainly be putting the in-depth knowledge and tasting skills I have gained to very good use on my career journey as a Champagne buyer. I’d like to thank my fellow academicians and all the Houses for making this such an unforgettable trip. I’d particularly like to thank this year’s presidential House, the wonderful Charles Heidsieck, whose team did the most fabulous job of organising a once in a lifetime experience.

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