The T-Word: A Sense of Place?


There are few quicker ways to start an argument in the world of wine than say the ‘t’-word: terroir.  For some the mere mention of terroir elicits an eye roll.  Others view terroir as an intuitive and effective way to understand what makes a place and its wine special. It is the ‘culture’ aspect of both viticulture and viniculture, and an essential part of what makes winegrowing unlike any other discipline.

We spoke with five top figures in ASI: three floor sommeliers, whose interviews are provided below, and then two separate full-length interviews: one with Jean-Pierre Durand of Advini, and one with Brian McClintic, a noted sommelier and star of the SOMM documentary film trilogy. Each offered fascinating insights into a subject whose topicality never fades.





Top Row (L to R): Rastisla Šuták (Sommelier Slovakia), Tim Atkin (Master of Wine), Marcelo Belmonte (Trapiche) 

Bottom Row (L to R): Curly Haslam-Coates (Sommelier, Australia), Matthew Landry (Sommelier, Canada), Jean-Pierre Durand (Advini)


Join ASI on June 21 (3:00 PM CET) via the Association de la Sommellerie’s Facebook page for a live and potentially contentious panel discussion exploring the concept of terroir, hosted by Liora Levi. Guests include sommeliers Curly Haslam-Coates (Australia), Matthew Landry (Canada), Rastisla Šuták (Slovakia) and special guests Tim Atkin MW, JP Durand (Advini), and Marcelo Belmonte (Trapiche). Some reading material, by Tim Atikin MW, to prepare for the webinar.




Beyond Hero Worship of Grape Varieties: Brian McClintic on Revisioning Terroir


Brian McClintic is a Master Sommelier and a star of the feature-length documentary film trilogy SOMM, SOMM: Into the Bottle, and SOMM3. In this feature interview McClintic questions traditional viewpoints on terroir, asking if the real question should not be how we interpret terroir but how terroir interprets us?







Advini’s Jean-Pierre Durand on Terroir: a touchstone for emotions and all that makes wine unique


Among his many duties, Jean-Pierre oversees Advini’s Strategic Marketing and Communications Department along with the Sustainable Development Division. We ask for his insights on the concept of terroir.







Remember When…. This Month in ASI History


How can we approach the month of June without mentioning the creation of the International Association of Sommeliers? Indeed, it was on 3 June 1969 that the birth certificate of ASI was signed. Giuseppe Vaccarini had the privilege to experience these unique moments first-hand at Piper-Heidsieck in Reims.






Member News



Vladimir Kosenko wins title of Best Sommelier of Russia.






New Zealand Sommelier Association Announces Competition Dates






Norway Crowns New Sommelier Champion: Henrik Dahl Jahnsen







Torres Family: New exponent of the project for the recovery of ancestral varietals


After more than 30 years recovering ancestral varietals, we have managed to identify small oenological gems capable of adapting to climate change.  It is exciting when, finally, after so many years studying and getting to know these varietals little by little, we manage to materialize them in wines that reach the consumer, beyond experimentation





Advini: Showcasing two decades of Ken Forrest FMC 


With the 2000 maiden vintage of the Ken Forrester FMC, pioneering winemaker Ken Forrester was committed to producing the pinnacle of what he considers to be the finest expression of this variety – an iconic Chenin Blanc and a challenge to the world. The newly released 2019 vintage is the 20th of the Ken Forrester FMC.







Graham’s releases 1974 Single Harvest Tawny Port dating back to Portugal’s Carnation Revolution


Paying tribute to the successive cellar masters, coopers and tasters that have accompanied its ageing for almost half a century, Graham’s 1974 Single Harvest Tawny Port will be released as one of the three rare wines in The Cellar Master’s Trilogy collection.







California Wines: Capstone California brings Golden State insights to the world


In partnership with Master Sommelier Evan Goldstein and Full Circle Wine Solutions, California Wines announces Capstone California, a comprehensive platform for studying California wines. The definitive resource on California wine designed by and for wine professionals, Capstone California provides an in-depth understanding of wines from the Golden State.