The 2016 F.I.C.B. International Congress was held in the Napa and Sonoma Valleys in California from 8 to 12 June, followed by a two days’ extension. It was organized by the Knights of the Vine (KoV) of America and gathered some 200 participants from a dozen countries.
The programme included wine tasting at a great diversity of wine estates and in downtown Sonoma and Napa, as well as the events which are traditionally part of the F.I.C.B. congresses.
The programme included wine tasting at a great diversity of wine estates and in downtown Sonoma and Napa, as well as the events which are traditionally part of the F.I.C.B. congresses. The wine tasting enabled to appreciate the diversity and the quality of the wines which contribute to the world reputation of these two Californian valleys, and accompanied some typical American food specialties.
The “welcome dinner” on 8 June was an opportunity to introduce the brotherhoods represented at the congress and to savor the production of Mumm Napa, thus making the link with the 2014 Congress which had been closed by a gala dinner at the Mumm cellars in Reims (France).
The “academic session” was held at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America (C.I.A.), in the presence of Alan GALBRAITH, Mayor of Santa Helena, who was presented with the F.I.C.B. medal. It included two presentations by researchers at the UC Davis University on the history and the actuality of wine growing in California, and on technical progress made in support of sustainability in wine making. It also gave the opportunity to the Macedonian delegation to present their proposal to hold the 2018 F.I.C.B. Congress in their country. All of this was followed by the tasting of a broad selection of local “appellation” wines on the C.I.A. premises.
The “tasting of the wines of world” session took place at the Napa Valley Country Club and offered the tasting of over 100 different wines brought by the participants.
The “procession” was held in downtown Santa Helena, before the mass celebrated at the local Catholic Church, accompanied by a school choir.
The “closing gala dinner” took place at the Buenavista Winery where its owner, Jean-Charles BOISSET, a major wine producer in Burgundy and California, was the enthusiastic host in this recently renovated estate which is the oldest in the Sonoma Valley, dating back to 1857. “Inductions” in the KoV brotherhood of representatives of the guest brotherhoods were made and the F.I.C.B. Diploma of Honor was presented to Jean-Charles BOISSET, as well as to his wife Gina GALLO, winemaker of the premium wines of the Gallo Group, one of the largest wine producers and distributors in the world.
At this “closing gala dinner” at the Buenavista Estate, Buddy HAGNER, Grand Commander of the KoV, Pat PINGITORE, President of the 2016 Congress and Alan BRYDEN, President of F.I.C.B. underlined the great success of the congress and the participants expressed their overall satisfaction.
The “extension” allowed the discovery of other wineries, in particular in the North of the Sonoma Valley (Russian River Valley), and a visit to the spectacular Pacific coast line.
The 2016 F.I.C.B. Congress thus largely met the expectations of the participants, and even more!
During the Congress :
Mumm Napa (opening dinner) : www.mummnapa.com/
William Hill Winery (Napa Valley- Gallo Group)) : www.williamhillestate.com/
Cline Cellars (Sonoma Valley) :www.clinecellars.com/
Artesa Winery (Napa Valley- Codorniu Group) : www.artesawinery.com/
Raymond Vineyards (Napa Valley-J.C.Boisset Group) : www.raymondvineyards.com/
Buenavista winery (Sonoma Valley- J.C. Boisset Group) : www.buenavistawinery.com/
During the extension :
Baletto Winery ( Sonoma Russian Valley): www.ballettovineyards.com/
Pelligrini Famiily Vineyards (Sonoma Valley) : www.pellegrinisonoma.com/
Gloria Ferrer Winery (Sonoma Valley- Freixenet Group) : www.gloriaferrer.com/
Comstock Winery (Sonoma Russian Valley) : www.comstockwines.com/
Korbel Winery (Sonoma Russian Valley) : www.korbel.com/
Click here to access a broader selection of photos and to the website of the official photographer