Who is eligible for the course?
The prime objective is to educate members of the trade who would not otherwise be able to study Champagne in such depth. Candidates are usually under the age of forty.
Each year, every effort is made to ensure that the list of candidates is typical of the whole trade sector.
Membership is only open to applicants who do not have an association with any of the member houses.
How are participants chosen?
Potential candidates recommended for approval by the Selection Committee, headed by the Presidential House of L'Academie du Champagne.
The sixteen candidates who are finally selected and invited to attend the course are guests of all the member Houses and not of the nominating House.
The identity of the proposing house is never revealed to the candidates as their invitation comes from the President of L'Academie de Champagne, thereby ensuring their loyalty is shared equally between all the Houses and dedicated to Grande Marque Champagne.
The Champagne Academy Course
The course always takes place in the summer and usually lasts seven days, starting on a Sunday and ending on the Saturday of the following week.
The syllabus includes lectures led by the Principals and Wine Makers of the sixteen Member Houses covering all aspects of Grandes Marques Champagne, with visits to vineyards, press houses, cellars, bottling plants as well as tutored tastings. Lectures cover wide-ranging topics including the history of Champagne and the Grande Marques, viticulture and viniculture, marketing and analysis of world markets.
Each House shares in the introduction and entertainment of the candidates during their stay, giving them the opportunity to meet top management and families of the sixteen Member Houses.
The course provides the most thorough grounding in the knowledge of a particular viticulture region of any wine-producing area in the world and the opportunity to build relationships with the key industry leaders in Champagne.
All candidates sit examinations daily and also at the end of the course. On passing the exams, candidates are awarded the prestigious Champagne Academy Diploma. Those showing outstanding knowledge and understanding of the Grandes Marques philosophy are granted a unique distinction, and the top candidate is crowned the winner of The Golden Magnum, winning a silver ice bucket and a magnum from each of the Houses. All selected candidates are then invited to join the Champagne Academy.
If you would like to be considered for a place on the course, the next one being June 2019, please complete the enquiry form below with your CV and an accompanying letter setting out your reasons to be considered. You must be in the UK wine trade, not connected to any of the Champagne Houses and roughly between the ages of 25 and 50. Your application should be in by the end of August.
All suitable applications are passed to the Selection Committee who meet in October, and they will ask more detailed questions as to what it means to the applicant and what they will do once they have attended the course. The final sixteen candidates will be invited to participate in the course as guests of all 16 Champagne Houses.