Jeunes Sommeliers Competition

International Final - Wiesbaden (Germany), September 14-17, 2022

Germany hosts a second International Final
" Everyone agreed that all the competitors were winners. Congratulations to them all therefore! "

It was with great pleasure that the Organising Committee of the International Jeunes Sommeliers Competition could announce that the programme for the 2022 International Final would be held in Wiesbaden, Germany from September 14-17.

Wiesbaden is famous for its natural thermal springs, which over the years have attracted notable historic figures such as Goethe, Wagner, and Brahms.

The competition was held in conjunction with a Chapitre of the Bailliage of Germany. The host hotel was the Nassauer Hof which opened in 1813 and has been continuously Michelin-starred since 1979.

Twelve competitors were registered by Bailliages around the world. Unfortunately, Turkey’s Fehmi Gunsu was unable to obtain a visa meaning he could not travel to Germany to participate.

The Semi-final on Friday, September 16th put the remaining 11 young likeable talents through their paces.

Starting with a theory paper, they moved to the practical phase and concluded with a blind tasting. Never easy to perform under pressure and the scrutiny of the panel of judges, I always have great admiration for the young competitors.

Namely …
Belgium - Elise De Waele
Canada - Julian Simard-Gillis
Germany - Johanna Bergemann
Great Britain - Freddie Johnson
Korea - Kim Minjun
Mexico - Miguel Martinez Gil
Myanmar - Nyan Htet Naing
Netherlands - Noor Krooshoop
Norway - Filmon Teweldemedhin
Sweden - Elliot Björkmann
Taiwan - Lin Yun-Shun

When the scores were accumulated, the three finalists were announced as Freddie from Great Britain, Minjun from Korea, and Elliott from Sweden.

On Saturday 17th, the morning of the Final, these three competed for the title of the Chaîne’s Best Young Sommelier for 2022.

Under the leadership of Brian Julyan MS, the panel of judges (Matteo Montone MS, Virginia Philip MS, Maximilian Wilm) put the knowledge and skills of the finalists under the microscope.

The members and guests in the audience were enthralled by the performance of all three. The excitement was palpable. Quite admirably they gave of their best putting the stress of the occasion to one side.

Correctly, the judges kept the scores a closely guarded secret until the Awards Ceremony early on Saturday evening.

The world champion of this year's Jeunes Sommeliers Competition was declared to be Elliot Björkman from Sweden. Congratulations! What an achievement!

Second place went to South Korea's Kim Minjun and Third Place was awarded to Freddie Johnson representing the Bailliage of Great Britain.

The awards for the 1-2-3 were impressive. Included were cash prizes: the Winner received 2,500 euro, the Runner-up 1,500 euro and Third Place 500 euro.

For the first time this year, two special trophies were awarded:

The “Under 25 Trophy” (for the highest scoring competitor under the age of 25 at the conclusion of the Semi-finals) was won by Nyan Htet Niang from Myanmar.

The “Tasting Trophy” (for the best blind tasting marks at the conclusion of the Semi-finals) was won by Great Britain’s Freddie Johnson.

Everyone agreed that all the competitors were winners. Congratulations to them all therefore!

To conclude, as always there are many people who bring an international competition to an outstanding conclusion.

First and foremost, I would like to express my warm appreciation to the members of Competition Committee: Klaus Tritschler and Philip Evins.

To those people and organisations in the wine and alcoholic beverage industry who have provided valued support - including Louis Roederer who, this year, provided their wonderful champagne - I say a big THANK YOU!

Without a panel of judges and the volunteers who posed as clients during the practical elements, there could not be a Competition. Many thanks Brian Julyan and your team.

Acknowledgement of the contribution by the Technical Committee must also made for their time and valued advice.

Furthermore, we very much recognise Wempe Watches for their ongoing sponsorship of the competition.

At the Gala Dinner appreciation was expressed to Jörg Böckeler, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Hommage Luxury Hotels Collection, of which the host hotel, the Nassauer Hof is part. Additionally, praise was expressed to Jakob Stöhrer, the hotel’s General Manager and his staff for the warmth of welcome and hospitality that had been extended to us all.

And last but by no means least in the appreciations, again a big thank you goes to Bailli Délégué Klaus Tritschler and his team in the Bailliage of Germany for all their hard work which has been a significant contribution to the success of this year’s competition.

We wish all participants all the best for their future careers. There was a great atmosphere despite all the competitors agreeing it was a very demanding competition. Nevertheless, they were happy to have taken part and also saw the newly formed friendships as a complete success.

It was four varied days in the spirit of the Confrérie. Young up-and-coming talents were given the opportunity to network and exchange ideas, all in the presence of members and guests principally from Germany but also from elsewhere in the world who had come to experience this outstandingly successful international event.

Report by:
International Vice-President Marie Jones, Competition Committee Chair
Karin Deißner, Charge de Presse of Germany

Photography by Alexandra Kapherr

Competition Committee
(Chair) Marie Jones, International Vice-President
Klaus Tritschler, Member of the Conseil d’Administration
Philip Evins, Member of the Conseil Magistral

Panel of Judges
(Head Judge) Brian Julyan MS, Grand Officier Maître Sommelier, Great Britain
Matteo Montone MS, Maître Sommelier, Great Britain
Virginia Philip MS, Échanson Provincial, Bailliage Provincial of Southeast, USA
Maximilian Wilm, Maître Sommelier, Germany

Lisbon, October 16-20, 2024

International Final 2024

International Final - Ljubljana (Slovenia), September 15-16, 2023

Slovenia did us proud!

International Final - Ljubljana (Slovenia), September 15-16, 2023

Profiles of the fourteen who participated

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