On Saturday, September 30th, 2017 the Vana Tallinn Baltic Sommelier Grand Prix took place in Vilnius. The competition winner was the Swedish guest competitor Fredrik Lindfors. The best sommelier of the Baltic States was again Martynas Pravilonis from Lithuania who received the same honour in 2016. Els Maria Uibo from Estonia took second place in the tight finals and Estonia’s Best Sommelier 2017 Ketri Leis took third place. The best young sommelier was Silvija Umaraite from Lithuania.
„Each year the sommeliers’ level improves and the finals were very even. All finalists had excellent practical skills,“ said the sommelier Urvo Ugandi who is quality wine product manager at AS Liviko and was a member of the jury. At the first Vana Tallinn Grand Prix Urvo Ugandi received the title of best sommelier.
The annual highlight event for Baltic sommeliers, the Vana Tallinn Baltic Sommelier Grand Prix took place for the 12th time. This year there was a total of nine top sommeliers from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania competing for the title. International, external competitors from Sweden and Poland added excitement to the competition.
„Sommeliers have a very important role in developing alcohol culture therefore it is important that sommeliers are motivated to develop their skills and knowledge. My personal experience indicates that competitions are very inspiring for continuing development,“ explained Urvo Ugandi.
In the preliminary round the competitors showed their field specific knowledge in the form of written tests as well as by carrying out practical exercises. In the finals professional skills required demonstration through numerous surprise exercises.
The grand prize of the Vana Tallinn Baltic Sommelier Grand Prix competition is a monetary award of 1 200 Euros presented by As Liviko to the winner for further development of the winner’s skills. The award for the best young sommelier is a professional sommelier case with luxurious Riedel glasses.
The traditional Baltic States sommelier competition has been named after the legendary, most popular Estonian liqueur Vana Tallinn. Since the year 2006 AS Liviko organises the Vana Tallinn Grand Prix in cooperation with the Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian sommelier associations.
Finals picture gallery.
Photos by: Mantas Gudzinevicius