The Class of 2019

The Class of… 2019

We take a look back at some previous courses, we remember the candidates, events from the year and bring together some personal memories from the most exceptional experience offered in Wine Education.

With the course suspended this year due to COVID-19, our thoughts are with the group of candidates who were due to become our Class of 2020 and will have to wait another 12 months to create their own memories.

So we spoke to the most recent cohort to graduate to the Champagne Academy. A studious group, they were met at St. Pancras with a Champagne send-off by past-Chairman Marcus Little before enjoying the highlights of the course that, as with most years, include special meals together in some incredible locations.

Alice Archer took the reins of the committee in February 2019 with Champagne Ruinart, celebrated for its venerable use of Chardonnay, as the annual Presidential House. Caroline Fiot represented Ruinart superbly and was present at all events working closely alongside Alice as they hosted some fantastic dinners, including our flagship London event held at the impressive Bvlgari Hotel in Knightsbridge.

The Champagne Academy Gazette is published annually as a review of the previous year and it is sent to all of our subscribers. In the 2019 Gazette, Frederic Panaiotis of Champagne Ruinart reflected on the year describing the course as “intense as always, under the sign of passion, discovery, learning and sharing.”

The vintage report for 2019 declared “an exceptionally great vintage.” Following a scalding heatwave in the summer that, unusually, cost Champagne almost 11% of the harvest potential, perfect conditions greeted harvest-time. A noticeable element of 2019 is the shortening of the time between flowering and the harvest, which was around 81 days. Substantially shorter than the 92 days on average over the past decade.

The Can