Manfred Wagner brought the very first Champagne Workshop to SSTH, and was delighted to welcome Byron Catechis from the École du vin Sàrl, representing the Champagne region. Mr Catechis began by giving students a run-down on the entire champagne-making process, all the way from harvest to its bottling. Champagne production is highly regulated in a number of areas, and follows clear guidelines. Students learned that key factors in good champagne include the soil, climate, ageing as well as the grape variety itself.

Following on from this, students were given the chance to taste five different champagnes. They discussed visual impact, aroma and flavour. This exercise gave them the necessary practice to take part in the awards segment at the end of the workshop, for which the aim was to sample various champagnes before an expert panel of judges.

The top three students at blind tasting and in the written exam were Peter Marvin (GFG2), Marina Lozza and Andrin Jäggi (both HF1). Each received a certificate, but had to step before the jury once again for the final. Their challenge was to sample the best champagnes and answer detailed questions on champagnes and their producing area. Huge congratulations to Marina Lozza for coming first! She wins a trip to Champagne, where she will visit various champagne houses and take part in further tastings.

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