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Best Sommelier of France 2022

The semi-final has given its verdict

Mikael Grou, Pierre Vila Palleja et Xavier Thuizat

Mikael Grou (Le chat botté* - Hôtel Beau Rivage in Geneva), Xavier Thuizat (L'Ecrin* - Hôtel de Crillon in Paris) and Pierre Vila Palleja (Le petit sommelier in Paris) are the three finalists for the 2022 edition of the competition of the Best Sommelier of France. A selection that they won after the semi-final organized at the Vatel hotel in Bordeaux by Jean-Pascal Paubert and his technical committee. The second stage of an event which also brought together Bastien Debono (Restaurant Yoann Conte** in Veyrier-du-Lac), Alexandre Freguin (L'Oustalet* in Gigondas) and Logan Guignot-Trufley (Villa René-Lalique** in Wingen -on-Moder).

At the end of a series of tests, first written then practical, the six candidates had to wait until the beginning of the evening to know the verdict rendered by Philippe Faure-Brac, president of the Union de la Sommellerie Française. On the terrace of Château Capet-Guillier, Pierre Vila Palleja, Mikael Grou and Xavier Thuizat were called. The first will play his fourth consecutive final, the second, returns to the highest level eight years after the final lived in Beaune. As for the third, he reached the final on his first participation in the Best Sommelier of France.

All three will therefore be reunited on November 6 in Paris. And as in 2018, it is within the framework of the EquipHotel trade fair and in particular in front of 200 sommelier students that the best of them will succeed Florent Martin.

In the meantime, Xavier Thuizat, who has done everything well this year, and Pierre Vila Palleja will have honored another decisive meeting. On October 17 and 18, they will meet in Le Touquet the six other finalists of the ''Un des Meilleurs Ouvriers de France'' competition.

Text and photos: Jérémy Martin