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  • Jancis Robinson
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  • Jancis Robinson
26 Dec 2008

The world's first International Sparkling Wine Symposium will take place in the UK on Wednesday 18 Mar 2009 at Denbies Wine Estates in Surrey, just outside London. You can save up to £25 on tickets if you book before 1 Jan 2009.

Confirmed speakers include Steve Charters MW, champagne maker Dominique Demarville, Tony Jordan, who until recently ran LVMH's Australian interests including Domaine Chandon, Michel Salgues and champagne specialist writer Tom Stevenson. The event is aimed at winemakers, buyers, journalists and 'industry leaders from across the world' in a forum devoted to all things bubbly.

The event has been devised by winemaking consultants John Worontschak and Sam Harrop MW and English wine producer Denbies. John explains, 'Despite working with wineries across the world, we have found no current forum for sharing sparkling winemaking and marketing experience. After discussing the idea with Denbies, who agreed to host a symposium, we assembled a team of specialists including journalist Dr Jamie Goode and wine specialist PR and marketing company Proven PR to organise the first ever globally-focused event.'

Topics covered at the Symposium will include:

  • the global challenges of growing grapes for sparkling wine
  • the art of assemblage, including a tasting of vins clairs
  • new developments in sparkling winemaking
  • global market trends and consumer insights [this will presumably now include the shrinking champagne market – JR]

This is a clever attempt to put English sparkling wines on the international map as a by-product of the symposium. As Jamie Goode explains, "Currently there is a great deal of interest in sparkling wine production in the UK, with several new ventures underway, and existing producers making increasingly impressive wines. While this symposium will have a global outlook, it is the level of interest shown by the industry here that has led us to initiate what we hope will become a regular event. We're delighted that Denbies Winery is going to host the inaugural event, timed to coincide with the Champagne Information Bureau annual tasting, which takes place in central London the previous day." (Cunning!)

More details about delegate rates, speakers and sponsorship opportunities is available from the event website: or by contacting Jamie Goode on

You can book for just the main conference sessions, or the main sessions plus the conference dinner. (The conference sessions run from 09.30 until 17.30; the tasting and dinner commence at 18.30 h and run until approximately 23.00.)

Registration will be confirmed upon receipt of payment, which can be made by Paypal or credit/debit card by clicking on the relevant button (secure payment via Paypal's website). Once you have made your payment, please complete the registration form below. You can also pay by cheque, contacting Jamie Goode if necessary.

Early registration (before 1 Jan 2009)

  • £150 (including dinner)
  • £125 (without dinner)

(Later registrations will be £175 and £145 respectively.)


For attending the symposium on 18 Mar 2009 (includes refreshments and lunch, but NOT the conference dinner and the preceding tasting)
For those in the UK £125 + VAT @ 17.5% = £146.88 total
For those booking from outside the UK no VAT is payable so the fee is £125 (make your selection on the drop down form)

Delegates can register and pay by credit card or Paypal via