The night of
Monday 20th May 2013 will live long in the memory of those who
attended the unique International Wine Trade Dinner at Vintners’ Hall, in
celebration of the 650th anniversary of the Company’s first Royal
Charter in 1363. What a party it turned
out to be!
Master Vintner Henry Pickard hosted a feast for five Kings, but 650 years later
Master Vintner Michael Cox was proud to host wine trade royalty who had travelled
from ten countries.
The stellar cast list of attendees included Paul Pontallier (Chateau Margaux), HRH Prince Robert of Luxembourg (Chateau Haut-Brion), Aubert de Villaine (Domaine de la Romanée-Conti), John Buck CNZM OBE (Te Mata, New Zealand), Serge Hochar (Chateau Musar), Etienne Hugel (Hugel et Fils), Egon Muller (Weingut Egon Muller), Arturo Cousiño (Cousiño Macul, Chile), and Mauricio González-Gordon (González Byass).
Mistress Vintner (Lynne Cox) welcomes
HRH Prince Robert of Luxembourg to Vintners' Hall
They were joined by the great and the
good from the British wine trade, including Freemen Honoris Causa Michael Broadbent MW and Hugh Johnson OBE, Oz Clarke, Steven
Spurrier, and Sarah Kemp.
Master Vintner (Michael Cox) with Jancis Robinson OBE, MW
The guest of honour Jancis Robinson OBE MW spoke eloquently and amusingly with anecdotes from her much lauded career. In proposing a toast to the Vintners’ Company, she highlighted the role the Vintners has played in the development of the wine trade and notably its support of wine education through the Institute of Masters of Wine, the Wine & Spirit Education Trust, and the WSTA, and its continuous backing of the trade’s charity The Benevolent.
In responding to the toast, the Master drew attention to Jancis’s outstanding contribution to the world of wine, and congratulating her on becoming the most recent Freeman Honoris Causa of the Company. Welcoming all those that had travelled from all corners of the globe, he also commented on the important part that France had played in the 650 year history of The Vintners, and the fact that, apart from the excellent vintage port, all the wines served at the dinner were French. This did not stop him from poking some mild fun at our closest neighbours, to rousing applause!
of the Post Horn Gallop from the gallery by the band of the Honourable
was greatly appreciated by the cosmopolitan diners, and all
the Court members and Liverymen present felt proud that their Company had
hosted such a convivial and successful evening of good food, superb wines, and
To view the SEATING PLAN click HERE To view the FULL GUEST LIST click HERE To view the MENU AND WINES click HERE
Guests at the International Wine Trade Dinner seated in the spectacular Vintners' Company Livery Hall
Oz Clarke with Serge Hochar of Château Musar and John Buck CNZM OBE
Photographs by Darren Woolway. More photographs of this event can be viewed HERE
Extracts from some correspondence received
following the dinner:
What a truly incredible and memorable
evening last night. The dinner lived up
to this great and historic anniversary of the Vintners in every aspect. The
organisation was totally flawless and quite superb. What was so special was that it was all done
with a bit of humour and affection, while the underlying theme was of the
utmost respect for everything that the Vintners stand for. Paul Symington, Managing Director,
Symington Family Estates, Oporto
It was one of those truly memorable events
that demonstrate yet again that contemporary Britain continues to do ceremony
better than anyone else in the world and with a lot more style. Jane MacQuitty, wine correspondent, The
Quite simply, it was the best wine trade
event I have ever attended. Dan Jago, Wine Category Director, Tesco
What a triumph. Monday was an extraordinary
evening, happy, a fabulous atmosphere, super wines, great food and of course
wonderful company. I think you presided over and inspired one of the very great
Livery Dinners which will be remembered for ever. Aubert de Villaine (Domaine
de la Romanée-Conti) enjoyed himself hugely, Peter Sisseck (Dominio de Pingus)
had lunch with me the next day and was similarly entranced and I know Edouard
Moueix thought it pretty amazing too! They were all honoured to be there. Adam Brett-Smith, Managing Director, Corney
I am sure that the Mystery is less
mysterious to the wine world this morning… Simon Berry, Chairman, Berry Brothers &