Our own talented Julia Harding MW won a special award at the Louis Roederer International Wine Writers' Awards announced last night at the top of the Gherkin, the distinctively shaped building in the City of London.
She had been shortlisted as Online Writer of the Year, an award which was presented to Natalie MacLean of Ontario, but then we were told that the standard of Julia's work was so high that she was given a special award by chairman of judges Charles Metcalfe.
Julia was on holiday in the Languedoc at the time so I had to keep her abreast of developments by text. Her reaction on learning about the award was a practical 'Great! Who's the chairman, and does it involve any champagne?' Followed by 'Proxy kisses to Charles pls!'
I'm sure you will join me in my appreciation of the high standard of Julia's work and delight that it has been recognised by this increasingly important annual awards, now in their sixth year.
You can listen to interviews with the shortlisted writers, including Julia, in both long (21 minute) and short (8.5 minute) versions at www.huwprycetalks.co.uk
The other winners were:
The Artistry of Wine Award 2009
For Triage at Domaine des Perdrix
Online Wine Writer of the Year 2009
Articles from www.nataliemaclean.com
Regional Wine Writer of the Year 2009
Articles from The Yorkshire Post
Champagne Writer/ Presenter of the Year 2009 Tom Stevenson
Articles from Wine & Spirit, The World of Fine Wine
and Meininger's Wine Business International
Louis Roederer Award for International Wine Book 2009
International Wine Columnist of the Year 2009 Tim Atkin
Columns from OLN, The Observer and Intelligent Life
International Wine Feature Writer of the Year 2009 Margaret Rand
Articles from Decanter