Association de la Sommellerie Internationale reinforces its
commitment to the growth and future of sommellerie worldwide at its
49th General Assembly 


Paris, France, July 26, 2018– As the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale (ASI) prepares to celebrate its 50thanniversary, in 2019, the 49thGeneral Assembly, held recently in Tbilisi, Georgia, reiterated its goals of modernizing and reinforcing the sommelier trade and widening its international reach. The Association also prepared for a very full three-year agenda that includes the Best Sommelier of the World contest in Belgium and the 50thanniversary celebrations in Champagne, both in 2019, as well as continental competitions in Japan, Cyprus and Australia and an annual meeting in Ningxia, China.

More than 70 delegates from 47 member countries took part in the 49th ASI General Assembly. They gave strong support to President Andrés Rosberg and the Board of Directors and their vision for the development of ASI and the sommelier profession. Through various presentations in the Georgian capital, the Board and various committees explained their approach to bringing ASI further in line with the current industry context, and to support contemporary sommeliers as their contribution and influence keeps getting more and more significant.

The President and Board of Directors stressed the importance of ASI’s almost 50-year history, and reiterated its commitment to the values of the profession, such as hard work, excellence, humility, love for wine and constant learning. At the same time, Rosberg pointed out the importance of making sure ASI flourishes and reinforces what makes it unique, as the largest global sommelier association and the leader in international  sommelier contests and as an association invested like no other in the future of sommellerie.

New observer members
Peer F. Holm, president of the German Association, is succeeding Jean Pallanca of the Monégasque Association as head of the By-Laws Committee, a position Pallanca had held for more than 20 years. The two of them led the vote for new membership applicants. Two countries were voted in as new observer members; New Zealand and the Philippines. They were respectively represented in Tbilisi by Ms. Celia Hay and Ms. Charmaine Wang. In addition, Peer Holm had meetings with several other potential new members who are interested in applying next year.

Competitions and meetings
Reports of past and upcoming continental and world sommelier contests were also presented by representatives of the host associations. Michelle McCarthy (on behalf of Canadian president Mark DeWolf) reported on The Best Sommelier of the Americas contest, which took place in Montréal in May. Saiko Tamura-Soga (on behalf of Japanese president Shinya Tasaki) presented the program for The Best Sommelier of Asia & Oceania contest, taking place in Kyoto this coming fall. William Wouters, president of the Belgian Sommelier Association and Vice President for Europe, laid out the schedule for The Best Sommelier of the World contest, which will take place in Antwerp in March 2019. Georgios Kassianos, president of the Cypriot Sommelier Association, presented a preliminary program for The Best Sommelier of Europe & Africa contest in 2020. Sarah Andrew, co-president of the Australian Sommelier Association shared plans for The Best Sommelier of Asia & Oceania contest for 2021. As Australia was the only candidate and presented a solid proposal, ASI voted unanimously for this bi-continental contest, the first in ASI’s history to be held in Australia.

The 2019 general assembly was given special attention by Secretary General Michèle A. Chantôme, since it will coincide with the celebration of ASI’s 50th anniversary, scheduled to take place in France in June 2019. Seeing that June also marks the anniversary of the Union de la Sommellerie Française, UDSF president Philippe Faure-Brac offered to host the general assembly in Paris before the 50thanniversary celebrations, which will take place in Champagne, the birthplace of ASI.

The Ningxia wine region, in China, is ASI’s newest partner and has offered to host the Annual Meeting and general assembly in 2020, a proposal that was agreed upon through a unanimous vote by ASI members.

Two of ASI’s partners were present and gave brief speeches about their companies. Sommeliers International, a partner for more than 10 years, was represented by president Eric Allouche. Sébastien Lézier, owner of new partner Ligne W/Château Laguiole gave a presentation on his company, and also presented all Assembly participants with a sample of their product: a special corkscrew made from used wine barrels, engraved with Georgia 2018 and ASI’s new logo.
The Association de la Sommellerie Internationale is a non-profit making association founded in Reims on the June 3-4, 1969, and based in Paris, France. It brings together the national sommelier associations of sixty countries, and represents a global community of thousands of sommeliers around the world. It promotes sommellerie worldwide by increasing awareness, developing sommellerie where it doesn’t exist, and improving the level of sommeliers where it does, and educating consumers and professionals alike. It defends the ethics of the profession and advocates for the consumption of alcoholic beverages in moderation. It is notably responsible for major international sommelier competitions, including continental contests as well as the ASI Best Sommelier of the World contest held every three years since 1969.

Please find links to video material below. These may be used freely with credit to: ASI/Grupo CactusCine
Should original files be needed, please contact Liora Levi.

Georgia general assembly 2018
Shalva Khetsuriani on Georgian wines