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Wine Community Leaders Share a Vision for Excellence in Bordeaux

Wine Community Leaders Share a Vision for Excellence in Bordeaux

Delegates from 31 different countries gathered in Bordeaux to identify shared goals for the world of wine at Forging Links, the seventh symposium of the Institute of Masters of Wine.

Staged in the historic wine capital from 24 to 27 June with the support of the Conseil Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux, Forging Links assembled 300 wine industry leaders and speakers from 17 different countries to take part in an outstanding programme of keynote speeches, panel discussions, tastings, lunches and dinners.

Co-chaired by Fiona Morrison MW and Jacques Lurton, Forging Links enabled the most influential figures from the wine industry today to join in an independent forum for debate and dialogue, where all could participate in sharing their vision for the future of the art, science and business of wine.

In keeping with the spirit of Forging Links, videos of all the symposium sessions and photographs from the entire event are being posted on the Institute’s official symposium website. More than 1,300 photographs are now available and the videos will be uploaded over the course of the next two weeks, to provide a resource for all.

Speakers addressed topics ranging from wine on the internet and emerging wine countries to the roles of families and corporations in wine, Old World and New World inspirations and the lessons to be learned from some of the world’s most iconic winemakers.

Keynote speeches were delivered by Alain Juppé, Mayor of Bordeaux and former Prime Minister of France, international advertising guru Sir John Hegarty and Georges Haushalter, CIVB Vice President.

Symposium speakers and moderators included Tim Atkin MW, Jean-Claude and Olivier Berrouet, Arnaud Bourgeois, Sylvie Cazes, Eduardo Chadwick, Poh Tiong Ch’ng, Jean-Bernard and Jean-Philippe Delmas, Paul Draper, Peter Gago, Rowan Gormley, Joshua Greene, Margareth Henriquez, Olivier Humbrecht MW, Jeannie Cho Lee MW, Judy Leissner, Eric LeVine, Michael Linton, Zelma Long, Christophe Macra MW, Alastair Maling MW, Pascal Marchand, Kym Milne MW, Fiona Morrison MW, Egon Müller, Alvaro Palacios, Paul Pontallier, Jancis Robinson MW, Michel Rolland, Eleonora Scholes, Christian Seely, Lynne Sherriff MW, Magandeep Singh, Justin Howard-Sneyd MW, Miguel and Mireia Torres, and Moses Tsang, Jean-Michel Valette MW and Dirceu Vianna Junior MW.

Fiona Morrison MW said: “Our aim was to bring together the best and the brightest from inside, and outside, the international world of wine in a setting where they could share their experiences, opinions and vision. We wanted to challenge how we think and communicate about wine and to learn from each other in an atmosphere of openness and trust. Our delegates, speakers and sponsors recognised the unique nature of the event and helped to create a truly memorable and enriching experience, for which we are hugely grateful.”

Jacques Lurton said: “The success of the symposium is definitely due to the synergies between all those involved in the event. The fantastic team we have been working with to make it possible, the moderators and speakers, and the Bordeaux wine institutions, who clearly understood they could work together to demonstrate that Bordeaux is a group of diverse people and vineyards but who all belong to the same family and have the same goal of excellence and extended such a warm welcome to us.”

Georges Haushalter, Vice President of the CIVB and President of the Union des Maisons de Bordeaux said: “The CIVB and all the members of the wine community in Bordeaux were very proud to welcome the Institute of Masters of Wine and the delegates of Forging Links during Bordeaux Fête le Vin. It was a unique opportunity for us to show the diversity and quality of the wines of Bordeaux and to share our experience with members of the international community who share our passion for wine.

“In Bordeaux, we have known for a long time that wine has a unique ability to forge links between people and this event was the embodiment of that idea. I want to thank the Institute, each Master of Wine and all the symposium delegates for their contribution to the development of these links forged by wines throughout the world.” said Monsieur Haushalter.

Dr. Josef Schuller MW, chairman of the Institute of Masters of Wine added: “Forging Links was a truly extraordinary event. Its vision was ambitious and the experiences we shared surpassed all our expectations. The Institute and its members strive to promote excellence in wine and we are delighted that Bordeaux and the international world of wine share this vision. I believe that everyone left Forging Links inspired and richer in knowledge as a result of our time together. Thank you to all who made this possible.”

Forging Links was staged with the generous support of the Conseil Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux (principal sponsor); Office de Tourisme de Bordeaux; Conseil des Crus Classés de Sauternes et Barsac; Conseil des Grands Crus Classés en 1855; the Madame Bollinger Foundation; Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux; Union des Maisons de Bordeaux; Riedel; San Pellegrino; Vins et Vignobles Dourthe and the Greek Wine Federation.