Sunday, September 16, 2007

Our Host and Special Confirmed Guests.

Official Guest Host: Arnaud Compas
The event will be hosted by Hermitage Wine’s industry consultant. Arnaud has been in the wine industry for more than a decade. Over the years, he has worked in many renowned wine establishments in London and provides consultancy to many of the Michelin starred restaurants.

Featured Guest Speaker: Robert Joseph
Robert Joseph is a well known British-born wine expert and writer. In 1984, with Charles Metcalfe, he launched Wine International Magazine and the London
International Wine Challenge, which grew to become the world's biggest wine competition. Since then Joseph has also launched International Wine Challenges in Asia (China, Japan, Vietnam, Singapore, and Hong Kong) and Russia.

He was the wine correspondent of the Sunday Telegraph for sixteen years, until 2001, and is the author of more than 28 books, twice winning the Glenfiddich award for wine writing. He wrote an annual Robert Joseph Good Wine Guide (published by Dorling Kindersley) which in 2004 was named as best Wine Guide in the world by the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. He has judged and/or chaired wine competitions in France, Portugal, Italy, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Chile, Portugal and the USA, He is one of the members of le Grand Jury Européen, a Chevalier de Tastevin and a member of the Commanderie du Bontemps du Médoc et des Graves in Bordeaux. In 2006, he helped to launch and became editor at large of Wine Business International magazine.

Robert Joseph regularly appears on television and radio in the UK and overseas to talk about wine. He is also a keynote public speaker at international wine trade conferences and events and hosts regular tastings for private groups. In 1997, he was named by Decanter Magazine as one of the 50 people who would be influencing the way people would drink in the 21st century.

Featured Guest Speaker & Winemaker: Iain Riggs - Brokewood Wines.

Iain Riggs, Managing Director, Chief Winemaker and a part owner of Brokenwood, has taken Brokenwood from a small “hobby” winery and into the national arena. He first worked at Bleasedale and Hazelmere in McLaren Vale. At Hazelmere, he sparked his interest in varietal blending and was one of the pioneers of the now-famous combination of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc. At Hazelmere, Iain, as Chief Winemaker, focused on white wines, and was crowned McLaren Vale Bushing King in 1982 with his multi-trophy-winning Chardonnay.

The owners of Brokenwood, keen to grow their business and expand into white wine production, offered Iain the job of Chief Winemaker in 1982. That year, a new winery was built. Iain’s skills in white winemaking revolutionised Brokenwood, which, when Riggs joined, produced only red wines. A year into his tenure, with the 1983 vintage, production levels changed to 70% white wine and 30% red.

Iain is also known as one of Australia’s Shiraz specialists. There are seven Shiraz in the portfolio - the single vineyard Graveyard Vineyard, Rayner Vineyard, Mistress Block and Wade Vineyard Block 2 Shiraz under the Brokenwood label, and Seville Estate Shiraz and the area blend Brokenwood Shiraz and Hunter Shiraz. “Generosity of flavour in a consumer friendly style” is his philosophy in winemaking.

Iain is also a regular show judge for capital city and international wine shows, including the Air New Zealand Wine Awards, Chairman of the Hunter Valley Wine Show, and deputy chairman of Wine Australia, the biggest wine exhibition in the Southern hemisphere. Iain was also awarded the Graham Gregory Trophy for outstanding service to the NSW Wine Industry for 2003.

Guest Chef: Emmanuel Stroobant's
To represent the unique and rare qualities of the wines to be served - Les Fruit De La Vigne sought an equally talented and adventurous chef:

Stroobant’s modern French Cuisine with a hint of Japanese influence resulted in famous restaurant Saint Pierre conferred with the “Most Innovative Menu” and “Best Dish Award” at Singapore’s 2001 Gourmet Hunt, and was a two time recipient of the Christofle New Restaurant of the Year award at the Awards of Excellence 2002 and 2003.

The talent behind the establishment, much of the restaurant’s success is due to the commitment and passion of Emmanuel. Trained in a classic 3-michelin star restaurant in Brussels for four years, it appears that this experience greatly benefited him.