Geoffrey Roberts Award 2004 – win £3,000 ($6,000)

The life and work of the late Geoffrey Roberts, innovative New World wine importer, is commemorated by a  special annual educational travel bursary worth at least £3,000 (approaching US$6,000).

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The Geoffrey Roberts Award is made to a deserving potential achiever in the worlds of wine, food and/or travel, thus continuing Geoffrey's lifelong encouragement of excellence in these three interrelated fields. The Award, in the form of both funds and contacts, will enable the winner to travel and learn more about his or her chosen subject.

In its first eight years of operation the Award has brought farmers' markets to Australia; yielded a brand new Somerset cheese, Ogleshield, thanks to input from American Award-winners who are now making artisan cheese in the US; funded a research project into the effects of vineyard altitude on the longevity of wine drinkers; and dramatically increased our knowledge of Eastern European indigenous grape varieties. Details of how to apply for the 2004 Award are given below.

The Award is run by a London-based registered charity whose trustees include Neville Abraham CBE and Nicholas Lander of the Financial Times.

The Award is open to applicants of any nationality, age or experience. They should submit a completed application form, including an outline of their travel proposal, to the address below by 31 mar 04.

We give no preference to great literary skills but give maximum attention to those who express, however rudimentarily, the desire to do some good to the greater picture and not just to further their own careers. Thus, exchange of information tends to come high on our list of priorities.

Our winners over the years have been successively:

1996 – Diana Campbell, a Canadian working in the Scottish wine trade who wanted to study food and wine matching at the Culinary Institute of America in the Napa Valley with the aim of increasing the confidence of Scotland's restaurateurs, chefs and wine waiters.

1997 – Jane Adams, food and wine writer and publicist of Sydney, Australia, who also toured the United States, finding out enough about farmers' markets to import the concept into food-conscious Australia. It has been a huge success there.

1998 – Caroline Smialek and Peter Kindel, America wannabe cheesemakers who visited European role models and now work in New York. Peter and Caroline worked in New York restaurants, including famous cheese haven Artisan, and now live on a dairy farm making cheese in the US.

1999 – Kathryn Thal, South African-born restaurant manager-turned-wine consultant toured Californian vineyards with the aim of setting up a program explaining and encouraging sustainable viticulture worldwide.

2000 – Ron Irvine of Washington state and Alan Foster of Oregon, artisanal cider makers toured England and Normandy in September 2000 exchanging information on methods and techniques for improving cider and apple quality generally.

2001 – Dru Reschke of Coonawarra who visited California to develop his winery effluent treatment system, already established in Australia.

2002 – Professor Roger Corder, head of the Department of Experimental Therapeutics at the William Harvey Research Institute at St Bartholomew's Hospital, London, who went to Sardinia to research a cluster of centenarians and the wines they drink.

2003 – Penny Boothman of England who used her bursary to tour Eastern Europe and research its lesser known indigenous vine varieties. Her  comprehensive findings are already available at

2004 – you?

Deadline for applications is 31 mar 04 and a winner will be chosen in early summer by a distinguished panel of judges who in the past have included Anthony Barton, Sally Clarke, Paul Draper, Dick Graff, Ken Hom, Hugh Johnson, John Mariani, Ramon Pajares and me, Jancis Robinson.

For more information on how to apply for this travel bursary, contact Venetia Lebus, Hon Sec Geoffrey Roberts Award, 103 Streathbourne Road, London SW17 8RA


Or download an application form:

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rich text format.

Entries close 31 mar 04.