The CIVC (Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne) established the European award in 2005 to recognise and reward the work of wine lecturers, tutors and teachers around Europe. The Grand Prix was awarded to Richard after a week of tests, tours and tasting around the Champagne region, competing against seven European national finalists. At the final, contenders had to give presentations and answer questions on this year’s theme of rosé champagne to nine judges (one judge drawn from the homeland of each competitor plus a head juror). The results were announced at the gala dinner in Reims.
Bampfield is an experienced wine professional with over 27 years in the international wine business. He is responsible for the wine course at Leith’s School of Food and Wine, and a chairman of the Association of Wine Educators, and lectures on all subjects for the WSET. He said: “Drinking Champagne is one of life's great pleasures and helping others appreciate Champagne has always felt more like a labour of love than real work. I am really proud and excited to be European Champagne Ambassador 2009 and will be doing my best to ensure Champagne's continued success - both as an educator and as a thirsty consumer.”