Circular Editor Amanda Barnes receives another award

Keith Grainger celebrates two awards Circular Editor Amanda Barnes has recently won and shares insight into why these awards, in memory of Geoffrey Roberts, Tim Derouet and Geoffrey Jameson, were created.

I know she is much too modest to sing her own praises and trumpet her achievements so I’ve taken it upon myself to tell readers about awards that Amanda Barnes, editor of The Circular, has won in the last few months.

Amanda has been awarded the Geoffrey Roberts Award by The Vintners Company.  The awards panel unanimously selected her to receive this prestigious award, which is worth some £8,000.  She has decided to use the money to continue her research on the emerging wine regions of South America, an area in which she is already a leading expert. Amanda is being assisted by many local experts and winemakers, and I can’t wait to read the print edition of her South America Wine Guide which will be published at the end of this year.  As with the website  the book will provide a comprehensive guide to both the well-known and undiscovered wines of Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Brazil, Bolivia and Peru. The website is really great – well-designed, chatty, informative, stimulating, and a great source of reference.

Geoffrey Roberts, who died in 1994 was hugely instrumental in introducing quality Australian and Californian wines into the UK market.  His agency list for Californian wines read like a ‘Who’s Who’ – the stars included Robert Mondavi, Chalone, Sterling, Château Montelena, Freemark Abbey, Schramsberg and Trefethen. The annual tasting was the not-to-miss event.

This wonderful achievement of Amanda’s is hot on the heels of her receiving a Derouet Jameson Memorial Foundation Award for outstanding WSET Diploma results. This award is in memory of Tim Derouet MC and Geoffrey Jameson CVO MW, two larger than life wine trade figures. It supports two students with funding for the Master of Wine study course. Lucy Bland, a wine buyer for Berry Bos. & Rudd was the other recipient.  The ward covers the costs of application fee, the first year’s study and an allowance towards travel. 

I first met Amanda on a trip to Sicily in 2013.  I was overwhelmed by her enthusiasm, energy and hunger for knowledge, and predicted that she would soon be a leading figure in wine writing.  And I suppose I should mention the essential item of clothing she kindly bought for me after the airline had lost my suitcase – thanks, Amanda! I’m not sure if she will have a second to spare in the coming years – MW study, South America Wine Guide, editing The Circular.    

Well done and good luck with all your projects!

By Keith Grainger