Zone News

We welcome the latest news from our Zone Chairmen, and members of the International Council of Management  – Stephen Hipple (Americas), Michael Tamburri (Asia Pacific) and John Nicholas (Europe Africa)


I am pleased to report that all branches in the Americas have resumed in- person dinners.  The Americas festivals and events program is now on track to recommence offering two events every year. Our Paris & Bordeauz wine festival went off without a hitch and we are now making plans for festivals in Washington DC (Oct 2022) and Willamette Valley (May 2023).

Paris & Bordeaux May 5-13, 2022

Americas nine-day Paris & Bordeaux Wine Festival went off without a hitch. It was meticulously planned by Steven Greenwald and Andrew Jones. Since the daily itinerary for the festival was available on the Member App,  participants were able to view the locations of the day-by-day activities, the times of departure and advised attire. Some of the members learned of the app from other attendees while enjoying  the festival and downloaded it without delay. Once the Member App was downloaded, they learned of future festivals in all zones, as well as accessibility to the other features:  Wine & Food Pairing, Vintage Guide, Publications, and IWFS Store.

Great Weekend in Washington, D.C. - October 12-15, 2022

The invitation for the Great Weekend in Washington, D. C. festival has been emailed to members worldwide. It is open to 120 members. IWFS Americas invites members from the U.S. and around the world for four fabulous days of culture, history, outstanding wines and exceptional cuisine. Attendees will be staying at the Five-Star, historic Willard Hotel, enjoying some the major sites, as well as dining at the finest restaurants in D.C.

Willamette Valley - May 2-6, 2023

The Willamette Valley five-day festival is happening in the heart of Oregon’s wine country. Attendees will meet world-renowned winemakers during in-depth tours of some of the best wineries in this region, known for their world class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. We will be staying in the foothills of Willamette Valley at the Allison Inn & Spa, the jewel of Oregon’s famed wine country and considered a destination resort set. 

ASIA PACIFIC – Michael Tamburri

As the Asia Pacific region opens up, and despite our travel restrictions, our branches within the APZ are getting back into the rhythm of wining and dining with friends.  We are looking ahead to our AGM Singapore Festival in September 2022.  We are however sad to announce the passing of our past Chairman Ricardo “Dong” Puno earlier this year.  Dong, as he was affectionally known, was the 3rd President of the Philippine branch and served as APZ Chairman in the late 1990’s.  He was instrumental in organising the APZ Festival that was held in Manila in 1997 and was one of the founding members of the Society.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family during this time.

I recently returned from the EAZ Piedmont Festival and the America’s Bordeaux Festival. I sincerely thank the Chair of the EAZ John Nicholas and the Chair of the Americas Stephen Hipple for their invitation. My congratulations go to all the organising teams as I personally felt the festivals overdelivered for price and quality for their duration.

The APZ would like to confirm that the Singapore Festival, which has been postponed since 2020, will be held this year from 16 to 18 September. We will gather to enjoy a spectacular tasting of wines from Italy’s Tenuta San Guido and Domenico Clerico.  Attendees will have the opportunity to enjoy the famous curry tiffin at the Raffles Hotel as well as hawker delights at the beach front of the Rasa Shangri-la Hotel on Sentosa Island.  It is currently sold out, but please email us if you would like to join the wait-list on

We are also pleased to advise the our Japanese version of the Blended Whisky monograph has now been distributed across the zone. My thanks go out to Dennis Tanaka for his assistance and there are still copies available for purchase.

EUROPE AFRICA – John Nicholas

It is a relief and very welcome that the IWFS has begun to function again with a number of exciting initiatives taking place in the EAZ such as the Black Pudding Competition (see the news and updates here) and our Excellence Awards.

Our branches are core to the Society and to all of its members, and therefore it is wonderful to see that many branches are again organising a full programme of events with every expectation that they will be able to take place. However, I personally hope that we also continue to organise on-line events with the potential for participation by members from different branches and regions. In EAZ, we are looking at how we can help branches to enhance this experience and to attract new members.

Three EAZ International festivals have successfully taken place over the last six months – Madeira, Alsace and Piedmont with participation of members from all regions of our Society. These events are important to the Society to showcase what we are, and they form a key part of the breadth and depth of the membership experience.

EAZ branches in the North of England have co-operated to organise the Black Pudding Competition - a competition between 6 catering colleges in the region to produce the best dish incorporating black pudding as an ingredient. The heats are taking place as I write. The final will be judged by 5 leading chefs, 2 of whom (Paul Heathcote MBE of Heathcoes and Andrew Pern of The Star Inn at Harome) are Michelin-starred. The winners will be announced at a lunch to be held at the University of Bolton arranged by the faculty of Catering, Hospitality and Catering. The objectives are to generate publicity for IWFS, particularly on social media, to work with education establishments and to support aspiring young chefs. More details of the lunch and the competition can be found on the IWFS website.

EAZ have been trialling a new Excellence Award which can be awarded to any establishment which has given EAZ excellent service. The emphasis is for branch committees to make such awards and it is important that the establishment being awarded publicise the award and its links to IWFS. All awards will be recorded on the IWFS EAZ website and will initially be made for up to three years. The objective is for branches to build stronger relationships with local establishments and potentially to attract membership by generating contacts from an establishment’s wider clientele to the IWFS website.