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Highlights of ASI’s 50th anniversary in pictures


A region whose reception was remarkable, starting with that of Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger and his family who have made available to ASI a historic decor, the House of the Counts of Champagne. To this they added the tasting of their prestigious vintage Comtes de Champagne. A highlight that President Andres Rosberg emphasized in a brief speech before giving his host the pennant of ASI.

During the assembly, the Portuguese delegation offered an original work to the president of ASI. A watercolor depicting the cathedral of Reims illuminated by a sun symbolized by ASI’s logo.

The Austrian delegation concluded in its own way the work of the delegates with a cake just arrived from Vienna and shared with President Rosberg and his predecessors Shinya Tasaki and Giuseppe Vaccarini.

This evening also allowed to thank Jean-Marc Bouré administrator of Palais du Tau and the towers of Cathedral of Reims for his reception and the provision of this historic setting.

The Mumm House also put every effort in offering a prestigious evening to the national delegates with a tasting followed by a dinner organized in the René Lalou cellar.

As a prelude to the gala dinner offered by Piper-Heidsieck, the same one whose champagne was served on the day of the founding of ASI, at Palais du Tau, thirteen Best Sommeliers of the world (from senior Armand Melkonian to the youngest Marc Almert) accompanied by some of the best continental sommeliers were set at the place of honour.

Philippe Faure-Brac also wanted the presence of the presidents of the regional associations of UDSF and for the most part they made the trip to Champagne. One way also to show their support for the French candidacy for the organization of the 2022 World Contest.

Still at the gala dinner, the more than 200 guests could appreciate the quality of the wine service provided by the students of the additional sommellerie education of the Gustave-Eiffel high school of Reims supervised by two of their teachers and supported by two members of the Association of sommeliers of Champagne-Ardenne.

The municipality of Reims also wanted to join the highlights of this fiftieth anniversary and Arnaud Robinet very formally received Andres Rosberg and a large delegation of members of the Union of French Sommellerie. The opportunity for the elected official to emphasize that he is “very attached to our heritage and culture that are very closely associated with wine”.

Having come to meet the sommeliers from all over the world, more than 150 French and foreign winemakers had gathered under the classified vaults of Halles du Boulingrin in Reims. Eighteen masterclasses were also hosted on a rich day of exchanges and (re) discoveries.

At the Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte Wine Center (CVCNF), a guided tour revealed the impressive structure located in Chouilly. Then a tasting of 50 Young Talents and Ambassadors of Champagne enbaled the members of ASI and UDSF to discover the wines of a new generation of winegrowers. Andres Rosberg, welcomed by Philippe Harant, director of the Marne Tourism Development Agency, Guillaume Roffiaen, cellar manager of Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte, Marie-Reine Fischer, president of the Greater East Regional Tourism Agency, and Laurent Panigai, Deputy General Manager of CVCNF, could assess the mobilization of this region to offer an exceptional welcome.

During a short getaway in Hautvillers, the participants discovered the abbey and Dom Pérignon’s universe and appreciated the explanations of Nicholas Lane, oenologist of the very famous champagne, and discover in preview the 2008 vintage.

Officials could not leave this region without making a brief stop at the town hall of Epernay where mayor Franck Leroy invited them to come back for a longer time and then joined them for a photo.

The conclusion of this stay in Champagne was turned towards the future and the Far East thanks to the invitation of a delegation of winemakers and personalities of the Chinese province of Ningxia. This vast wine region located in western China has become an important partner of ASI and this rapprochement will result in the holding of the next general meeting of the international sommellerie in September 2020. An appointment the attendees of this farewell dinner could have a taste of during the degustation of many wines organized in preamble and during the meal.

Text and photos Jean Bernard