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Oxford crowned University Wine Champions 2012

Oxford emerged as The University Wine Champions 2012, in a competition organised by Wine Australia as part of last week’s Australia Day celebrations in London.

(l-r) Ren Lim; George Scratcherd; Sarah Ahmed; James Flewellen; Yvonne May

Having defeated Edinburgh University in a blind tasting challenge and wine quiz, hosted by wine writer Sarah Ahmed, the three-strong Oxford team – James Flewellen, Ren Lim, and George Scratcherd – will be rewarded with a vineyard tour of Australia this April.

“It’s been eye-opening to see how much students know about wine these days,” said Yvonne May, director of Wine Australia UK, Europe and Ireland. “The two teams in the final had an energy and discipline about the competition that impressed us all at Wine Australia.”

Wine Australia now plans to build on this initiative to engage a younger UK audience, with May explaining: “This is the first year we’ve run the competition and it’s been a huge success. We look forward to expanding it in the coming year.”

Describing the final as “the toughest, the closest and the most nerve-wracking match of the competition,” Flewellen, the Oxford team captain, said: “Overall it’s been really enjoyable: a great learning opportunity and we know so much more now about the very different wine regions of Australia.”

Flewellen impressed the wine trade last year, when the Biophysics DPhil student from Lincoln College scored the highest mark for the second year running in the annual Varsity match, sponsored by Pol Roger. Click here for an interview with the drinks business just after that achievement.

The first year of this competition saw eight teams take part, each sponsored by different winery:

University of Derby – sponsored by Tyrrell’s

University of Nottingham – sponsored by Hardys

University of Edinburgh – sponsored by Peter Lehmann

University of Oxford – sponsored by Oxford Landing

University of Bath – sponsored by McGuigan Wines

Bristol University – sponsored by Jacob’s Creek

University of Leeds – sponsored by Andrew Peace Wines

University College of London – sponsored by Wakefield Wines

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