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Delhi Wine Club
Curtain Raiser on World Wine Symposium 2012

Posted: Tuesday, 06 November 2012 16:58

Curtain Raiser on World Wine Symposium 2012

November 06: What is common between Four Seasons and Fratelli except that they are both producers of domestic wines in Maharashtra and closest to Pune, and not Mumbai, and are on the possible future Wine Trail for this region? They are about to create history by participating in the 4th edition of the World Wine Symposium being organised at Villa d’Este on November 8-11.

Debuting in 2009 at the grand, luxurious hotel Villa d’Este on Lake Como, the event has become an annual feature around the first week of November where speakers from the wine fraternity talk about various wine related issues with a view to find solutions or suggest the direction in which one could possibly go.

The annual 3-day conference was the initiative of one man- Francois Mauss, a French-born wine journalist and founder and the organiser who had 5 benefactors he likes to call Godfathers (not the Marlon Brando-Mario Puzo kind!). Aubert de Villaine (DRC) and Alain Vauthier (Chateau Ausone-Grand Cru Classe ‘A’ from St. Emilion) were the French benefactors joined by Angelo Gaja (Italy), Egon Mueller (Mosel-Germany) and Pablo Alvarez (Vega Sicilia) from Spain.

The World Wine Symposium (Davos of Wine) is a high-level, global think-tank where the major actors from the world of fine wine come together to discuss and defend their shared interests and common goals, with a vision that is both prospective and multidisciplinary, says Francois.

The conference focuses on the current hot topics in the wine world along with a gastronomical experience that includes unlimited wine tastings in a lovely ambience provided by Villa d’Este with the old world majestic charm. Speakers and topics this year are as varied as during the earlier editions.

Besides the speakers, there are workshops and wine tastings in the evening. The dinners are preceded by a short musical concert which follows the dinner as well. The food, wine and the ambience are a class by itself.  To say that it is an excellent gastro-oenological experience would be an understatement. With Michelin-starred chefs aided by the resident Chef of Villa d’Este, each meal is a multi-course cuisine with over 8-10 wines, preceded by tasting of wines.  One hopes that the world famous white truffles from Alba, which were sorely missed last year because of a very low crop will be back, making it a complete royal feast. During the earlier editions, they have been a big draw ending up in ‘encores’.

The significance of the conference, also known as Davos du Vin, was summed up by comments from Steven Spurrier, the well known UK wine author, writer and an ex wine-merchant in France at the first Symposium. ‘This conference has been an undoubted success. It provided a fantastic platform to discuss so many issues under one roof. But I would like to see it tightened up a bit. It should be more participative and the approach should be not only to discuss the problems but try to find solutions. I am glad people like you, Joel, Gil and Bipin asked very relevant questions. I would like to see more of that interaction. Also, there should be a panel rather than a speaker and a moderator.’ Steven had been a panelist but felt that his role was rather limited.

There is a wide participation from different parts of the globe with most wine producing and consuming nations represented, including Belgium, Chile, France, Germany, Israël, Italy, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Monaco, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, UK and USA. India is one of the Asian countries participating besides China, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Countries like Austria, Australia and Canada are missing this time possibly due to the difficult phase the wine world in Europe and other parts  is passing through, says Francois. However, he exudes confidence when he says, ‘ we are fully booked up because of higher participation by Russia, France and Germany.’ At €3850 a couple  registration charge that includes all meals, stay and the tastings (barring the premium verticals), it is no mean achievement.

One of the highlights of the symposium has been presentation of their wines by the producers who have registered for the conference. With the diverse spectrum of  important wine stakeholders including journalists participating, it has become an important platform to showcase a country and its wines.

Thanks to the efforts of Subhash Arora, President of the Indian Wine Academy, to have a couple of producers participate in the Symposium, Four Seasons Wines and Fratelli Wines, both of which are in the expansionary mode and are looking up to increased export presence and international evaluation, jumped at the idea of showcasing their wines to this international community. ‘ I was quite excited at the thought of Indian wines being poured at a platform where verticals of DRC by Aubert de Villaine, Chateau d’Yquem by Pierre Lurton and Masseto from Ornellaia by Alex Heinz will be conducted, besides a horde of different wines offered for tasting at lunches, dinners and other tastings. I wanted Brand India to be recognized through this medium. I didn’t want to clutter the space with too many brands and I wanted to have wines that are worthy and capable of export. I am glad that both Four Seasons and Fratelli are participating, making it a historic event.’

Four Seasons is sending their Barrique Reserve of Shiraz and Cabernet 2009 along with Viognier 2012 and Blush 2012. Fratelli is showcasing its super-premium Sette 2009, Chardonnay 2012 and Sangiovese 2011. There are focused tastings every evening where the delegate producers pour wines for the registered guests while one may have the opportunity to taste these wines throughout the day. In the past, producers from Argentina, Austria, Australia, Burgundy, Bordeaux etc have tasted their wines.

The Symposium is a hallmark wine event and for the discerning wine aficionado a respite after the vintage (at least in the Northern Hemisphere) and a chance to hob-nob with the top palates and producers.

Indian Producers for Brand India at World Wine Symposium
World Wine Symposium: The Taste That Lingers on
Davos of Wine: Gaja Decries Spirited Approach against wine
Davos of Wine concludes on a Promising Note
World Wine Symposium: Impressive Kick off Eve

Subhash Arora  



dkraju Says:

WE ARE VERY PATRIOTIC that we do not allow any indigenous wines into our State of Tamil Nadu!

Posted @ November 07, 2012 13:46


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