The Caterer has acquired the UK Sommelier of the Year competition from the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII).
The acquisition sees the UK's market-leading hospitality media brand, part of Jacobs Media Group, secure the future of a competition widely regarded as the premier accolade in UK wine service.
It follows two years of successful management of the event by The Caterer in conjunction with the BII, during which time the scale and prestige of the event have grown exponentially.
The UK Sommelier of the Year competition has been running since 1980 and in that time has recognised the UK's best-known and most lauded sommeliers including Gerard Basset, Ronan Sayburn, Gearoid Devaney and Xavier Rousset.
Under The Caterer's ownership, the UK Sommelier of the Year competition will continue to recognise outstanding performance in UK wine service, while also maintaining the relationship with the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale to ensure that the competition's winners progress to the Best Sommelier of the World Competition.
Clive Jacobs, chairman of Jacobs Media Group, said: "The Caterer is committed to recognising, rewarding and promoting best practice in UK hospitality. Our ownership of the UK Sommelier of the Year competition now enables us to extend this commitment even further. The acquisition further strengthens The Caterer‘s position at the heart of the hospitality industry. This acquisition is proof of the fact that we are a business that exists to provide business-critical information to hospitality operators, one that seeks to play an active role in uniting the industry to further growth, encourage innovation, raise standards and recognise achievement."
Mark Lewis, publisher of The Caterer, added: "We've been honoured to support this prestigious awards system, over the past two years, which will now take pride of place in The Caterer's portfolio of industry-standard events, alongside the Cateys, Acorns and Hotelier of the Year awards. We have exciting plans to evolve and grow the competition's reach and educational remit."
Mike Clist, chief executive officer of the BII, said: "I'm delighted to see this important competition go to such a good home. The Caterer has already helped it to go from strength to strength, and I look forward to seeing it develop further under their guidance in the coming years. This will allow the BII to focus energy and resources on our core activity of training, professionalism and standards in licensed retail"
The 2017 UK Sommelier of the Year competition finals day and awards reception take place at the Savoy London on 17 July.
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