In an award-winning year for European Director of Wines of Chile, Michael Cox, triumphed again at the International Wine Challenge awards on 18th July taking home Personality of the Year.
The internationally renowned UK organisation awarded Michael for his “customary wit, charm and exuberance” as well as his “can-do spirit and willingness to take risks” as the Master of the Worshipful Company of Vintners over the last 12 months, and also noting his significant work for Wines of Chile over 10 years and with other organisations in Australia and Europe previously.
“The award came as a big surprise to me,” says Michael who has previously been a judge on the IWC panel. “[I] received the award from Tim Atkin with the audience on their feet clapping and cheering, which was very emotional for me.”
Although Michael is now the proud winner of IWC Personality of the Year, and also the Drinks Business’ Lifetime Achievement Award, the awards are bittersweet as he was diagnosed with cancer at the beginning of the year. “This has been an extraordinary year so far!” he comments. “From the highs of two major trade awards and plaudits, to the lows of my diagnosis, but I am profoundly proud of be recognised by my wine trade peers in this way, and for the warmth of support that the trade has shown in me and my work over 40 years, but especially for my work for Wines of Chile, and more recently for the ancient Worshipful Company of Vintners. I like to think that in this life ‘you reap what you sow’ and with the help of the Good Lord, a little bit of luck, and some dedication and honesty….rewards will come!”
Known as the UK ‘oscars of wine’, the IWC Awards are now in their 30th year and they award people and businesses in the trade. Highlights of the evening can be watched here. The evening was held in Park Lane with a special dinner for 1000 invited guests.
Photographs: Presentation of the award; Michael Cox with WOC UK colleague Anita Jackson.
Written by Amanda Barnes