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World Contest 2010: Chile prepares

World Contest

World Contest Chile

World Contest 2010 :
Chile prepares

Santiago de Chile will host the 13th edition of the most prestigious sommellerie competition at international level. Created in 1969, the World’s Best Sommelier Contest, organized by the ASI, gathers sommeliers from all over the world to compete for the much coveted ‘Moët Silver Mathusalem’ trophy. More than a thousand candidates competed in May 2007 during the last edition in Rhodes which saw Sweden’s Andreas Larsson coming in first place. The Associación Sommeliers de Chile, in full effervescence, presented its programme last June at Vinexpo in Bordeaux. Wine production is at its height in this New World country. 5th wine exporter in the world, Chile is expecting a lot of the event. Their aim? To promote the assets of its young, yet strong wine industry to the general public. With its massive exports to the United-States and Great-Britain, its vast vineyards, diverse geology and natural reserves, Chile is an economic force to be reckoned with.

An interview with Hector Vergara Flores,
President of Chilean Sommeliers

Sommeliers International :
What is the main challenge of this 13th edition?

Hector Vergara Flores : We wish to gather all the professionals of the wine industry and sommellerie profession to make this contest a great media and professional success. The stakes are high for all Latin American countries, as it was in 1992 in Rio de Janeiro. Before 1991, there was no wine industry. Then everything changed: vineyards were planted, consumption and sales increased… We plan to enhance the general public’s knowledge of Chilean wines so that it doesn’t remain the prerogative of sommeliers.
My 30 years experience in this profession has led me to London, Paris, Toronto… and I have to say that it is still sometimes difficult to find good sommeliers in restaurants. Our trade must be strengthened. I am delighted that Chile is in charge of this edition at a time when our country is celebrating the bicentenary of its Republic.

S.I. : Tell us more about Chile…

H.V.F. : Chile distinguishes itself by its geological diversity: the 6000 m high Andes, the Blue Lakes region with its snow covered volcanoes, the arid desert Valley of the Moon, the immense natural spaces, all this under 292 days of sunshine a year… It is a magnificent mosaic, a slightly mystical country. The only industry is the wine industry. It is a paradise with one of the largest freshwater resources … vines grow well here. The collaboration between the organizers and the sommeliers is essential. Sommeliers should share their skills. We count on the support of our partners, Moët & Chandon, Hess (PLW), Acqua Anna, Wines of Chile, San Pellegrino, to ensure the success of this event.
S.I. : What will be the key dates of the contest?

H.V.F. : Having received all the information, ASI members have until December 20th, 2009 to register for the competition. Some 50 countries will be officially invited and represented by their candidate, their President and a journalist. Some countries will be well represented, such as Brazil, the largest consumer of Chilean wine, who has thousands of members and will send several hundred people. Candidates have been preparing intensively for months.