‘Special Recognition accolade at French Wine Awards’ – toot toot

Harpers Award - 16A handsome package arrived this week, and inside was a razor-sharp trophy. It was a ‘Special Recognition Award’ from the Harpers French Wine Awards and I’m extremely chuffed to be able to stick it on the mantelpiece next to our grumpy bronze boar.

I was gutted, in fact, not to have been able to collect the prize in person at the awards ceremony in London – you don’t get many rounds of applause in a vineyard – but it was the night before Angela’s birthday and I’d promised to bring her tea in the morning.

The funny thing is, the prize isn’t for our wine at all. It’s for writing and tweeting. Richard Siddle, the editor of the UK-based trade magazine and known as ‘chief’ in the wine business, wrote the flattering explanation below on the Harpers website. Forgive me for modestly including the title of the article but it really shows that the little people – in wine, at least – can make the headlines above the ‘Supermarket of the Year’ and the like.

All the winners and finalists are listed below, with links to their Twitter pages (hey, Twitter’s all about sharing).

Gavin Quinney scoops Special Recognition accolade at French Wine Awards.

“Gavin Quinney, the English winemaker who owns and produces wine at Chateau Bauduc in Bordeaux, has won the Special Recognition Award at the first Harpers French Wine Awards.

Quinney received the honour for the work he has done in giving the wine trade as a whole a fascinating insight into the day-to-day highs and lows of being a winemaker and running a Bordeaux winery.

Quinney has become a one-man publicity machine not only for his own business but for helping promote French wine overall, Bordeaux wine in particular, and for airing some of the more lively and controversial issues facing French wine in such engaging and entertaining way.

He has built up such a following online through social media that he has more Twitter followers than prestigious Bordeaux houses and many of the generic French wine bodies.

004097_hail_region4Quinney, though, has had a difficult 2013 with much of his vintage wiped out by a disastrous hail storm in the summer, but despite the impact on his own winery, Quinney took to Twitter and his own Chateau Bauduc newsletter* to spread news of how the storm had affected wineries across the region, providing as valuable a source of information as the mainstream media and wine trade press.

Quinney is also a regular contributor to Harpers Wine and Spirit and provides a yearly analysis of the vintage, comparing his own scores to the major wine critics.

His Special Recognition Award was sponsored by the Pays d’Oc Wines. Quinney’s Chateau Bauduc wines have been the house wines at Gordon Ramsay’s three Michelin-starred restaurant since it opened.

Other winners in the Harpers French Wine Awards were:

Best Supermarket
Winner: Waitrose
Finalists: Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s

Best Distributor/Supplier
Winner: Les Caves de Pyrène
Finalists: Bancroft Wines, Georges Barbier, Matthew Clark

Best Independent Merchant (Large)
Winner: Cambridge Wine Merchants
Finalists: Berry Bros & Rudd, Laithwaites

Best Independent Merchant (Small)
Winner: Taurus Wines
Finalists: James Nicholson, Raeburn Fine Wines, Lea and Sandeman

Best Restaurant French Wine List
Winner: The Green Man and French Horn
Finalists: The Boundary Restaurant, Club Gascon/Cellar Gascon, Le Gavroche

Best Regional Restaurant French Wine List
Winner: La Garrigue
Finalists: Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons, Hotel Terravina

Best French Wine Critic
Winner: Andrew Jefford
Finalists: Jane Anson, Rose Murray Brown MW (The Scotsman), Jancis Robinson MW

Best Ambassador/Communicator for French Wine
Winner: Gerard Basset MS MW OBE
Finalists: Louise Hurren, Ronan Sayburn MS, Doug Wregg.”

Congratulations to all the winners and finalists, and a massive thank you to Harpers.

I’d also like to thank (as if standing there, pissed, with a microphone) all the customers and friends who commented on our Hail in Bordeaux,  part 1 and other posts, and to all the Twitterati for their support. Thanks also to Jancis Robinson and Livex for posting my rants and weather charts on their websites.

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4 thoughts on “‘Special Recognition accolade at French Wine Awards’ – toot toot

  1. ronan

    Well done Gav!

    About time you got a few Awards.

    Maybe this will inspire you to do a book/Bordeaux review website? 😉

  2. Andrew

    Congratulation Gavin, well deserved.

    The link in the footer on bauduc.com didn't put them off the thankfully:

    "If you think the website's dull wait till you see Gavin's blog or drivel on Twitter"

    Well earned recognition.