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The Union de la Sommellerie Française gathered in Le Touquet

Fabrice Sommier and his team in the thick of things

Six months after his election as the president of the UDSF, the MOF 2007 confirmed the dynamism of his board and various commissions. An overview of the first board meeting organized by the association of Hauts-de-France.​

With the full complement, the board of the Union de la Sommellerie Française took advantage of the first board meeting to inform the representatives of its members about the actions taken in the six months since his election in Marseille. In Le Touquet, the host of the Association of Sommeliers of Hauts-de-France, Fabrice Sommier emphasized the importance of the trust placed in the UDSF by its members and his willingness to work as a team.

From the overview presented at that time, we note the presentation of two new regional presidents, namely Nadine Gaillard, who succeeds Huguette Lefranc in Brittany, and Romain Iltis, who takes over from Serge Dubs in Alsace. On the other hand, Sandrine Rives, the president of the Association of Sommeliers of Guadeloupe, came to support the candidacy of her region, which the delegates unanimously approved.

Treasurer Xavier Thuizat presented the new partners of the Union: Champagne Castelnau, Union des grands crus de Bordeaux, Wine of California, and L'Arbre à Café. They join SommelierS International in a group that is expected to grow further in the coming weeks, thereby providing the Union with additional resources.

A busy schedule

Regarding the competitions that constitute the media showcase of the UDSF, the upcoming events have been set for both candidates and members of the technical committees. At this level, a significant change was announced. Eager to focus on the French team preparing the future French representatives for international events (Gaëtan Bouvier, Romain Iltis, Pascaline Lepeltier, Florent Martin et Philippe Troussard), David Biraud is stepping down from the leadership of the Best Young Sommelier of France. He will be succeeded by Denis Verneau (MOF and Master of Port) from the 2025 edition.

But before that, 2024 will be marked by the organization of the Best Sommelier of France. The Union will accept registrations on its website until December 31, and the first selection is scheduled for February 24, likely in Paris. Jean-Pascal Paubert and his team, which will include Cindy Schier, will then gather the semi-finalists on September 9 in Bordeaux, with the final taking place on November 3, once again as part of EquiHotel in Paris. This competition will precede the Europe-Africa competition scheduled in Belgrade from November 10 to 15.

Among other highlights, Monaco will host the ASI General Assembly from February 22 to 25, and Alsace will host the UDSF General Assembly on April 14 and 15. Finally, Lyon will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the regional association, an event planned for November and combined with the next board meeting.

Text and photos : Jérémy Martin


The family of master sommeliers is growing

Named Michel Widehem, the retired sommelier trainer from the Hotel School in Le Touquet and MOF maître d'hôtel, the new promotion of master sommeliers of the UDSF includes six new members. This title, which rewards the professionalism and associative commitment of its recipients, was awarded to Florian Guilloteau (Le Ritz in Paris), Julien Canale (Maison Bouchard Sud-Est), Bruno Roussel (sommelier consultant in Auvergne Rhône-Alpes), Romain Alzy (Le Grand Véfour in Paris), Charles Babillotte (retired in Alsace). On the other hand, Keiichiro Miyagawa (Galerie K in Paris) was made an honorary master sommelier. Finally, Hervé Fleuriel (Auberge de l'Ill in Illhaeusern), from the previous promotion but absent at the awards ceremony in Paris in November 2022, was finally able to receive the golden cluster symbolizing this status.