Qantas scoops six ‘top drop’ wines at cellars in the sky awards

by Doc-G on February 20, 2012


Qantas’ commitment to excellence in wine service has resulted in six top awards at the internationally prestigious Cellar in the Sky Awards, held recently in London.

This was the news I was given whilst attending what at first appeared to be a ‘mystery’ invitation to lunch at Press in Adelaide recently.

Upon arrival, I was greeted by Lauren Blank of Qantas Corporate Communications and a most wonderful glass of 1999 Tattinger vintage Champagne, normally reserved for Qantas first class passengers. What I was most interested to learn after being introduced to winemakers Tom Carson and Stephen Pannell is that Qantas is a major buyer of wine in Australia and that apart from being given free reign with regards to choice of wine for Qantas passengers, that there is a wide selection of high quality Australian wines on show to passengers giving Australia’s national airline the unique ability to showcase Australian wines to domestic and international travellers often before they have even set foot in Australia.

Qantas has scooped the pool with a number of awards, including Best First Class Cellar and Best Business Class Cellar for the second year running. Qantas has also won the award for consistency of wines across the First and Business Class Cellars and Best Presented Wine list.

Cellar in the Sky

In the individual wine categories, Qantas won Best Business Class Red for Mount Langi Ghiran Cliff Edge Shiraz 2008 and Best First Class Sparkling Wine for Comtes de Champagne Taittinger 1999. The Qantas wine program is led by an expert panel of wine industry judges and respected winemakers, Tom Carson (Yabby Lake), Vanya Cullen (Cullen Wines) and Stephen Pannell (S.C. Pannell).

Cellar in the Sky
Stephen Pannel

The program showcases the diversity and quality of the Australian wine industry and the Qantas list is one of the world’s most prestigious with over 250 specially selected local wines. Qantas Executive Manager Customer Experience, Alison Webster said the Qantas Wine Panel continue to deliver an exceptional cellar for Qantas customers. “The Qantas Wine Panel ensures the best selection of Australian wines is delivered to Qantas customers in their seat. We pride ourselves on developing a selection of wines, from the latest wines made by boutique winemakers to the iconic drops that form the very base of Australia’s great winemaking legacy,” Ms Webster said. “Qantas also goes to exceptional lengths to ensure customers are provided with detailed information about what they are drinking through our Sommeliers in the Sky cabin crew training program, in which cabin crew are trained extensively in all aspects of wine service. “It is becoming an increasingly competitive industry however Qantas is continuing to shine by showcasing the best Australia has to offer.”

Qantas invests over $25 million dollars in the Australian Wine industry every year through the Qantas Wine Program. In 2005, Qantas became the first airline to be awarded both the Cellars in the Sky Best First Class and Business Class Wine Lists and has continued to win awards, also collecting six awards in 2011. The Cellars in the Sky Awards have been running since 1985. The internationally esteemed competition recognises the best red, white, sparkling and fortified and dessert wine served in the air.

Photos courtesy of Qantas Corporate Communications.

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