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UDSF general meeting in Clermont-Ferrand.

First report and strong positions for the future

At the end of his first year at the presidency of the Union of French Sommellerie (UDSF) Philippe Faure-Brac and the members of UDSF gathered at Clermont-Ferrand. Some hundred participants have been welcomed by Françoise Gigot, president of the association of Auvergne-Limousin, just before the general meeting began.

Outre les débats traditionnels qui accompagnent une assemblée, les membres de l'UDSF ont découvert le vignoble auvergnat en visitant notamment la cave Saint-Verny.

A meeting that started by the assessment of the results of the last year. From ASI’s general meeting organized in Bordeaux during Vinexpo to the Sommellerie Day hosted by the association of Brittany, Philippe Faure-Brac reminded the different highlights. The competitions, the attractiveness of the website, the visits in the regions showed the dynamism of the Union.

Then, turning towards future, the definition of the new logo has been adopted. And of course the contests had an important position as 2018 will start with the selection of One of the Best Craftsmen of France competition and the finals a few months later. In March the semifinalists of the Contest of the Best Sommelier of France will be selected. A competition whose last stage (associated for the second time with the Expert Madeira Trophy) will take place in Paris.

The finals of the Best Sommelier of France competition 2018 in Paris

Indeed Boris Provost, director of the EquipHotel trade fair, came to Auvergne to propose to welcome the finals during the fair planned from November 11 to 15 at the Exhibition Center of Porte de Versailles. “In 2018, we want to implement a special focus on beverages with a ‘Beverage Studio’ where the Union would have its place. I thus propose to welcome the contest, your general meeting as well as any masterclass you would host,” he explained the members of the board and the delegates. Although the members in charge of the Contest Committee wanted some guarantee about the candidates’ comfort conditions, the proposition has been approved unanimously. We will thus know who will succeed Gaetan Bouvier (La Villa Florentine, Lyon) in the capital city. “From a media’s point of view, your contest will be one of the highlights of our fair!” Boris Provost concluded.

Create a team spirit to prepare the World championship

The another key event of 2018 will be the selection of the candidate who will represent France at the 2019 ASI Contest of the Best Sommelier of the World in Belgium and his alternate. With a major change: the tests will all be done in English like during the international contest. A wish expressed by Fabrice Sommier and Olivier Poussier and encouraged by president Faure-Brac who wants to see France “win international titles. France is close each time but lets it escape each time …”.

Olivier Poussier, Best Sommelier of the World 2000, unveiled his battle map. “The selection of the French candidate for the next ASI contest of the Best Sommelier of the World will be done one year before the competition, it is a good timing. It enables the candidate and his alternate to prepare confidently. Moreover proposing a selection in English from A to Z will place the candidates in the same configuration than the competition itself. Then, UDSF will have a key role in the assistance of the candidates. Until the end both sommeliers have to be guided the same way, like in the Nordic countries. It is the best way to build up a team spirit …”

A long chapter dedicated to education has then been presented by Michel Lugnier, inspector general of National Education in charge of the hotel and restaurant section. He evoked the reform of the diplomas and above all the changes wished especially about orientation to specialized courses (complementary mentions and vocational certificates). A work that has been done in partnership with UDSF.

At last, among the other appointments in 2018, the Sommellerie Day will probably be organized by the association of Nice-Côte d’Azur-Provence.

Jean Bernard


Eleven new UDSF Maîtres-Sommeliers

Eleven new UDSF Maîtres-Sommeliers received the Guy Vialis class. The title and symbol reward the professional career and associative commitment. The newly titled are:

Raphaël Bonniez (Société des Bains de Mer, Monaco), Ludwig Cordelier (La Cave du Léman, Lyonnais - Rhône Alpes), Olivier Giudice (Les Gorges de Pennafort, Nice - Côte d'Azur - Provence), Christophe Martin (Lycée Hôtelier de La Rochelle, Poitou-Charentes), Audrey Meyer (Larmes de Vin, Alsace), Sophie Mirande (Lycée Hôtelier de Bastia, Corse), Jean-Marc Remond (Société des Bains de Mer, Monaco), Valère Roussel (La Source des Sens, Alsace), Christophe Calon (Aux Vents d'Anges, Corse), Tania Van Muylen (Les Vents d'Anges, Languedoc-Roussillon - Vallée du Rhône sud) et Mathieu Vial (Restaurant Paul Bocuse, Lyonnais - Rhône Alpes).

Les nouveaux Maîtres Sommeliers de l'UDSF ont reçu la grappe dorée dans les salons de l'hôtel de ville de Clermont-Ferrand.