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CMB 2017: Successful Concours Mondial to visit China in 2018

Posted: Tuesday, 09 May 2017 11:05


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CMB 2017: Successful Concours Mondial to visit China in 2018

May 09: After successfully completing the 24th edition of the world’s only travelling international wine competition dubbed as the United Nations of Fine Wine, Concours Mondial de Bruxelles (CMB) announced Haidian District of Beijing in 2018 as the venue for the next edition on May 11-13, writes Subhash Arora who is impressed with the professionalism and dynamism showed by the organisers of the Competition recording the highest number of 9081 entries judged in the Spanish City of Valladolid

Click For Large ViewOne of the big excitements of the Concours Mondial which started travelling outside of its home base of Belgium in 2006 is the announcement of the venue for the next year’s venue. Held usually at a progressive wine producing region in Europe, the competition has looked beyond Europe and eyed the Asian market-and no market there is bigger than China today. In a way, it was not a surprise when Thomas Costenoble, the Competition Director announced at the traditional time of 11:30 am that Haidian district of Beijing would be the next year’s venue even though traditionally, it has been always organised in a European city so far.

The fun of the surprise element had been already spoilt by a reported leak by an over-enthusiastic local Spanish newspaper which had found out about the venue and jumped the gun by reporting the venue.

Click For Large ViewVinopres, the owner of Concours Mondial had already organised the First ‘Asian Wine & Spirit Forum and Tasting – The Silk Route’ and 2 days of tasting and wine competition on the lines of CMB, in Beijing in October, 2016. Earlier in 2015, a Spirit Competition was also held in China with Baudouin Havaux admitting candidly in private conversations that the future in wines was in Asia and especially China was the most progressive wine country today. With 847,000 hA of planted vineyards, China is now the 2nd largest wine-growing area in the world next only to Spain.

It is a known fact that when China takes on a project of international importance, it goes the extra mile to make sure it reaches the top of the heap, with no expenses spared. The amount of buzz an international competition of the standards of Concours Mondial can create is not a secret and it is a given that the hosts will immerse themselves to make it the most memorable and near-perfection wine competition for the visitors.

Click For Large ViewThe handing over ceremony was solemnised with Oscar Puentes, mayor of Valladolid, venue of this year’s tasting, handing over the Concours Mondial wine glass to Mingjie Chen, the deputy mayor of the Haidian district of Beijing. A cocktail of typical Chinese spirits, Baiju and Liqueurs followed by gala lunch was organised for the visiting 320 judges and other guests, offering 6 quality wines from China accompanying the food which was non-Chinese unlike the tradition in the past, ostensibly due to logistical constraints.

Commenting on the occasion Baudouin Havaux asserted officially, “China is definitely the place where the wine sector is developing the most in terms of production and Click For Large Viewconsumption. It has become the biggest market for some of the leading wine producing countries in the world. Winemakers’ associations are setting up businesses there, opening regional offices and building up sales networks. Growth rates are higher than in any other market. As a leading wine competition we always keep a close eye on market trends. Observing the dynamic development of the Chinese market we decided that it was high time we focused on this major player”.

This is the first time a wine competition of this magnitude and significance will be held in Asia. By travelling to China, Concours Mondial not only offers an opportunity to explore the most dynamic wine market in the world, but also opens its doors to a new cultural arena. The 25th CMB will be held on May 11-13, 2018. It will also offer an opportunity to the judges to visit some local wineries. It is customary to take the judges on a couple of winery visits at every venue. For instance, this time Arora visited Cachazo Family winery in DO Rueda and Cepa 21 owned by Emilio Moro family in DO Ribera del Duero.    

Click For Large ViewProf. Haiyan Song who is a Chair Professor and Associate Dean of the School of Hotel and Tourism Management in Hong Kong was invited as a judge for the current competition and was a fellow judge in Panel no. 46 which I chaired. He says, ‘Haidian district is one of the advanced districts of Beijing and focuses on scientific and technological innovations. It has a cluster of universities and very young and evolved students with a population of over 3.5 million. It is well connected with Beijing through excellent transport systems and the judges would easily stay connected with the city.’

Concours Mondial de Bruxelles 2018 is being organised with the support of Beijing Municipal Government and Beijing International Wine and Spirit Exchange (BJIWSE), a company focusing on wine trade and serving customers across the world.

For a recent Article, read CMB 2017: Concours Mondial de Bruxelles ready in Valladolid

Subhash Arora

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