13 May 2021

Paris, France. The Association de la Sommellerie Internationale (ASI, – is pleased to announce the signing of a 3-year partnership with California Wines, an advocacy group supporting the California wine industry across the globe. According to ASI president William Wouters “creating this long-term partnership with California Wines, will support our presence in North America, but more importantly will help expose and educate our global network to the great wines of the ‘Golden State’.”

The alignment of both organizations’ strategic pillars was another blessing according to Wouters, who says “California Wines has ambitious goals of promoting both education and diversity. This is in complete alignment to our association’s mandate to transition from a historically contest-focused entity to one that provides educational opportunities and activities, all managed through a lens of celebrating the diversity – in all its meanings – to our sommeliers.”

California Wines, will be on hand to showcase its partnership at ASI’s first ever sommelier bootcamp, scheduled for September in Warsaw, Poland. Of the partnership, Honore Comfort, Vice President of International Marketing, says “Our new partnership with ASI offers an excellent opportunity for California Wines to build relationships with leaders in the global sommelier community. We look forward to working together to support professional development and wine education programs for individuals looking to advance their careers. The new sommelier bootcamp programs in particular will offer us the opportunity to present California wines to interested sommeliers from around the world.”

In 2021 California Wines launched Capstone California, a comprehensive education platform for California wines which includes a professional certification program. Of the opportunity to share Capstone with ASI’s global audience Comfort says “Capstone California is a milestone for California Wines and the industry as a whole. This innovative platform has been developed by and for wine professionals and is the product of collaboration with a team of leading international sommeliers, wine educators, and journalists with the goal of establishing a new standard for regional wine education.”

The 3-year partnership between ASI and California Wines began on May 1, 2021 and will extend through to May 1, 2023 allowing California Wines and Wine Institute to additionally be present at numerous ASI events including the Best Sommelier of the Americas (Chile), the Best Sommelier of Europe & Africa (Cyprus), Best Sommelier of Asia & Oceania (Australia), various Bootcamps and culminating in the Best Sommelier of the World in Paris (Spring, 2023).


For more information or to arrange an interview contact Mark DeWolf, ASI Director of Marketing.

About ASI: The Association de la Sommellerie Internationale is a non-profit association founded in Reims (France) on the 3 – 4 June 1969. ASI has 62 member countries from around the world with a mandate to:
-Bring together the national sommelier associations and to promote their founding where they do not yet exist.
-To co-ordinate actions aimed at developing and advancing the profession by various means (training courses, exams, contests, etc.)
-To enhance the sommelier’s profession and educate consumers.
-To defend the ethics of the sommelier profession.