Reims, France — The Association de la Sommellerie Internationale (ASI) held its General Assembly in Reims, France on 5 – 6 October 2019. A number of important motions were put to vote and all of them passed unanimously. These included the appointment of a new chair and new member to the Sommeliers Contests Commission, the admission of the Dominican Republic as a full member of the ASI and the adoption of Kazakhstan and Paraguay as observers.
There was business to be conducted even amidst the pageantry of the 50th anniversary celebration of the ASI. The organization’s General Assembly was held on 5 – 6 October 2019 at the Taittinger Residence of the Counts of Champagne in Reims.
Among the most important items on the agenda was the empaneling of new members of the Sommeliers Contests Commission. Arvid Rosengren, winner of the 2016 Best Sommelier in the World competition, was unanimously chosen as the new chair. “What an honor it is to be appointed to this position. The Sommelier Contests are one of the calling cards of our organization and an important tool for building our brand both internally and externally.”
A follow-on vote, also unanimous, appointed Olivier Poussier as a regular member of the commission as well. Poussier, the 2000 Best Sommelier in the World, joins Serge Dubs, Paolo Basso, Andreas Larsson, Markus del Monego, ASI President Andrés Rosberg, Michèle Chantôme (coordinator), Ricardo Grellet (logistics) and Saiko Tamura-Soga (logistics).
The re-composition of the commission was necessitated by the unfortunate passing of Gerard Basset, a beloved figure and the long-time chair of the commission, this past January.
Also on the agenda were motions to add new member associations to the ASI family. The Dominican Republic, which previously held the status of observer, was unanimously elevated to full membership. Two other nations, Kazakhstan and Paraguay, were awarded status as observer nations.
The assembly also voted on the upcoming slate of competitions and ASI meetings. Chile was tapped to host “the Contest of the Best Sommelier of the Americas” in 2021, while Germany was approved to host the GA 2021 in Mainz to coincide with that city’s famous Weinbörse event. In addition, four candidates were given the chance to make a 6-minute pitch on their candidacy to host the contest of the Best Sommelier of the World 2022: France, Georgia, Latvia and New Zealand. That vote will be held later this year.
ASI President Andrés Rosberg proclaimed the General Assembly a success: “It was amazing to have these important issues pass unanimously. I’m especially proud to welcome one new full member and two observer nations from around the globe. And this is just the beginning!”
The next General Assembly of the ASI will be held in September 2020 in Ningxia, China.
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