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Jeunes Sommeliers Competition

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

Slovenia did us proud!
" The winner .. was declared to be Lukasz Górski from Poland "

It was with great pleasure that the Organising Committee of the International Jeunes Sommeliers Competition could announce that the programme for the 2023 International Final - the 16th since the first one in 2007 - would be hosted by the Bailliage of Slovenia within a wider programme of events.

Fourteen competitors were registered by Bailliages around the world - the highest number of participants since 2017. Malaysia and Poland were competing for the first time.

Namely …
Australia - Gianmattia Giordano
Belgium - Jeno Del Turco
Finland - Tran Huy
Germany - Tobias Toff
Great Britain - Mélina Soulavie
Korea - Lee Jungjin
Malaysia - Chin Voon Ping
Mexico - Rogerio Montesinos Martínez
Netherlands - Lars Kleverlaan
Norway - Magne Gaut
Poland - Łukasz Górski
Taiwan China - Su Fang-Wei
Turkey - Kaya Sert
USA - Eric Palmer

The Semi-final was held at the InterContinental Ljubljana on Friday 15th. When the scores were accumulated at the end of the day, exceptionally there were four finalists given that two were out in front but the next two competitors had the same number of points.

Accordingly, at the commencement of the Final on Saturday morning, September 16th, at Ljubljana Castle it was announced that the four were: Gianmattia Giordano (Australia); Tobias Toff (Germany); Łukasz Górski (Poland); Eric Palmer (USA).

In front of an enthusiastic audience, under the leadership of Maître Sommelier Salvatore Castano, the panel of judges put the knowledge and skills of the finalists to the test.

Correctly, the judges kept the scores a closely guarded secret until the Awards Ceremony later in the day, the first element of the Gala Awards and Induction Night, again at Ljubljana Castle.

The Winner of this year's Jeunes Sommeliers Competition was declared to be Łukasz Górski from Poland. An outstanding performance deserving of the many congratulations that came his way.

The Runner-up was Germany’s Tobias Toff and in equal Third Place were Gianmattia Giordano representing Australia and Eric Palmer from the USA.

The awards for the 1-2-3 were impressive. As well as medals and diplomas for all involved, the Winner was presented with a Wempe wristwatch and received a cash prize of €2,500. The Runner-up received €1,500 and the Third Place competitors received €500 each.

Furthermore, this year followed the awarding of two special trophies established in 2022:

The “Under 25 Trophy” (for the highest scoring competitor under the age of 25 at the conclusion of the Semi-finals) was presented to Malaysia’s Chin Voon Ping.

The “Tasting Trophy” (for the best blind tasting marks at the conclusion of the Semi-finals) was won by Poland’s Łukasz Górski. Another indication of his outstanding abilities.

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 a magnificent conclusion.

First and foremost, on behalf of the Competition Committee, I would like to express my warm appreciation to Bailli Délégué Séku Condé, Chancelier Boštjan Horjak and the team in the Bailliage of Slovenia for all their work in the planning and implementation of an extensive programme of events which proved to be a great success.

Naturally, many thanks are also due to Competition Committee: Klaus Tritschler and Philip Evins.

Without a panel of judges and the volunteers who posed as clients during the practical elements, there could not be a Competition. A job very well done by Salvatore and his team.

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

Furthermore, we very much recognise Wempe Watches for their ongoing sponsorship of the competition. To those people and organisations in the wine and alcoholic beverage industry who have provided valued support, we also say a big thank you.

We wish this year’s competitors all the best for their future careers. There was a great atmosphere despite the demands of the rigorous testing and many new friendships resulted.

Marie Jones
Chair, Jeunes Sommeliers Competition Committee
International Vice-President

Photographer: Adrijan Pregelj

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
Salvatore Castano, Maître Sommelier, Great Britain (Head Judge)
Virginia Philip MS, Échanson Provincial, Bailliage Provincial of Southeast, USA
Maximilian Wilm, Maître Sommelier, Germany
Gašper Čarman, Échanson, Slovenia

Technical Committee
Brian Julyan MS, Grand Officier Maître Sommelier, Great Britain (Chair)
Dominique Crombé, Échanson, Belgium
George Staikos, Grand Échanson of USA
John Studdert, Échanson, Australia
Christina Suominen, Échanson, Finland

Bruges, March 24, 2024

Sommelier at Le Sanglier des Ardennes

Lisbon, October 16-20, 2024

International Final 2024

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

Profiles of this year's Panel

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