The IWFS Global Grapevine November 2023

The IWFS Global Grapevine: IWFS International News November 2023. Festivals around the world in celebration of 90 years!
Chris Bonsall

Message from the Honorary President Chris Bonsall

It seems rather strange to be writing to you about the pleasures of the table with the world yet again in turmoil. The human spirit needs, however, to find joy amongst all that besets it and there are few finer things than to share great wine and food with friends, be they new or old. Frustratingly, It is not open to us to solve all the problems we face in life but I do believe that a little bit of joy and happiness goes a long way.

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New Orleans - IWFS Americas Great Wine Weekend. 14-16 March 2024. Registration is now open for a weekend of fine wine and food in this most vibrant of cities. Click here to find out more.

Our Festivals

6-9 September 2023

Chicago, USA (Americas)

What a wine and food extravaganza! This festival was a French Wine Experience to really savour set in the beautiful and historic city of Chicago. Members were treated to a spectacular tasting of Mature Wines (one dating back to 1903) by Stuart Leaf; dinner with fine Rhone wines in Michelin starred Sepia restaurant; cruising on the Chicago river and closing with a tasting of the 7 Premier Crus Burgundies of Vosne-Romanée hosted by the highly respected Allen Meadows (Burghound).

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Wine selection in Chicago

20-21 September 2023

New Forest, England (Europe Africa)

A wonderful retreat to the English countryside! The "pick and mix" nature of this festival proved popular with a total of 43 members signing up for all or part of this annual event as well as attracting members from the Americas as it linked nicely with the Queen Mary 2 cruise which departed from Southampton and headed across the Atlantic to New York - making a similar journey to André Simon back in 1934.

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New Forest

18-22 October 2023

Sydney, Australia (Asia Pacific)

Sydney turned on its magical weather for the APZ Festival attended by a small but enthusiastic group of 22 members from six different countries with the majority from Australia. Being a small group meant that attendees were really able to benefit from dining in more select venues not normally available to larger groups including Oncore, Pilu and Tetsuya plus lunch at the weekender of Branch President Jim Anderson.

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24-27 October 2023

Mornington Peninsula, Australia (Asia Pacific)

Victoria branch welcomed 12 members from around the world to enjoy a four-day festival post-tour capturing the best of Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula. Festival goers experienced a blend of heritage cityscapes, rich wine country and seaside charm together with some of the best wine and food the region has to offer. 

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Mornington Peninsula
IWFS Asia Pacific Zone - Hong Kong - 15-17 November 2024. Plus Macau post-tour (dates TBC). Put the dates in your diary. Details to follow.

90th Anniversary International Events

Two recent events were held by branches opening their doors to members from further afield and celebrating our Society's 90th Anniversary.

New York branch welcomes cruising members

On September 29, IWFS members from around the world completed their crossing of the Atlantic on the Queen Mary II's Festival of Food and Wine at Sea. They were greeted that evening by members of the New York Branch for a dinner celebrating the IWFS' 90th anniversary. This trip echoed IWFS co-founder, André Simon's crossing on the steamship Paris in November 1934 from Southampton to New York to establish the first branches in the United States.

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New York welcomes cruising members

Windsor Castle - dinner fit for a king

The London branch held an exclusive dinner in the historic Windsor Castle. On a balmy evening in September 72 eager participants, from around the workd, filled the Vicars' Hall, built in 1415, for a celebratory dinner.

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Windsor Castle
IWFS Americas - Rhine Castles and Wine Cruise. 19-26 August 2024. Enjoy private winery tours from the foothills of the Swiss Alps to the canals of Amsterdam. Invitation to be sent in the coming months.

New For Members

Seasonal/Holiday Bundle

With the celebration theme in mind please remember that this merchandise bundle is available and could be that perfect solution for you or your branch to gift (maybe as a thank you to that venue which has produced a memorable meal) or a thank you to members. The Bundle includes 5 of each of these items of branded Society merchandise: Gift Bottle Bags, Champagne Stoppers, and Anniversary DropStops (3 per pack) at a special discounted price. Place your order now, via your zone page of the website.
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Seasonal/Holiday Bundle

Vintage Guide (Card & App)

The printed 2024 printed Vintage Cards are now available for members to purchase via the website. Members wishing to purchase copies, as a gift for family, friends or colleagues, should do so on the members only pages to ensure they receive the special price for members. The Vintage App is currently being updated and the new assessments for 2024 will be available during November. Please remember to click the refresh button on your device to make sure that you are viewing the most recent information.

Member App

André Simon Lecture with Amanda Barnes

This year's topic asks "Does South America have any 'grand crus'?". Amanda takes you on a journey criss-crossing the Andes through Chile and Argentina and then entering into Uruguay. She highlights the new and upcoming Geographical Indications (GIs) to watch out for - names including Paraje Altamira, Limari and Maldonado to identify the produce top-class wines. Due to be released in November.

Amanda Barnes

In the news on Sid's Blog

Q: Which grape has adapted better to the hotter climate change conditions?

A: That is a tough one. Don't believe any one grape has been the most successful. There are lots of worthy candidates among those that didn't quite get enough ripeness previously but now are thriving. However, one of the grapes in the top group would be Barbera…Click here to read more

Sid Cross

Our Awards

Michael Tamburri (Western Australia), immediate Past Global Chairman, and current Chairman of Asia Pacific was awarded the prestigious André Simon Gold medal on September 21st, 2023 at Tetsuya's restaurant, the venue for the gala dinner of the Sydney Festival. Michael was recognised for his dedication and outstanding service to the Society during the pandemic years and also his work for his zone and branch for many years. Michael has attended numerous festivals, when travelling was permitted, meeting and sharing food and wine experiences with members around the world.
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Michael Tamburri

Much deserved André Simon Silver medals were awarded to Americas members Kathy Kallaus (Jacksonsville) and John Danza (Chicago) at the Gala Dinner of the Chicago Festival on September 9th. Kathy was awarded for her excellent work as Editor of the Americas magazine Wine Food & Friends and John for his hard work developing and maintaining the Society website.
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Kathy Kallaus and John Danza

We are very pleased to report on four worthy recipients of the André Simon Bronze medal in the Americas. They are Dr Richard Baum, Physicians of LA (May 31, 2023), Diane Forristall, Council Bluffs (January 22, 2023), Ira Greene, New York (June 6, 2023) and John Sullivan, Miami (June 6, 2023). Thank you to them all for their hard work and contributions to maintaining the excellent work of their branch.
Click here to view the winners gallery

Dr Richard Baum, Diane Forristall, Ira Greene and John Sullivan
IWFS Europe Africa Zone - Loire Valley, France. 28 May-1 June 2024. Discover this region with its chateaux, fine cuisine and wines produced along the longest river in France. Now full, click here to join the waitlist.

Zone News

We welcome the latest news from our Zone Chairmen, Michael Tamburri (Asia Pacific), John Nicholas (Europe Africa) and also recently appointed Chairman of the Americas - Chris Ankner. Over to you Chris first of all…

Chris Ankner

Americas Chris Ankner

Hi. Last September, the Board elected me as the new Chairman of the IWFS Americas. Since I haven't been closely involved in our Festivals and Events, I suspect not many of you know me, so I'd like to take a moment to introduce myself. I have been on the Marketing Committee and am probably most associated with the Zoom Tasting Series in North America. You'll know more about it later, as we plan to start a YouTube channel so members around the world can view these tastings. 

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Michael Tamburri

Asia Pacific Michael Tamburri

It has been exciting to travel to the Sydney IWFS-APZ October 2023 festival with such great food and wine experience. Having the opportunity to celebrate our 90th Anniversary of the Society on the 20th of October and the New South Wales branch also celebrated their 40th Anniversary. The festival was attended by members from the Americas, Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia, Philippines, Western Australia, and Victoria branches joined by local New South Wales members.

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John Nicholas

Europe Africa John Nicholas

The autumn started with a two-night stay in the New Forest with two enjoyable meals and paired wines at two of the more notable New Forest establishments and a visit to Beaulieu with its extensive historical car museum, remains of the Abbey, dissolved by Henry VIII, and the Palace House. A morning was devoted to the formalities of the IWFS Europe Africa Annual General Meeting, followed by a short presentation of the developing strategy followed.

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Upcoming Festivals

Americas · Asia Pacific · Europe Africa

These events really do provide IWFS members with an exclusive food and wine experience around the world - take a look at our list of festivals available to IWFS members:

15-20 November 2023

Africa (Europe Africa)

This is a four-day African adventure on the luxurious Rovos Rail train from Pretoria to Victoria Falls and night at the iconic Victoria Falls Hotel. There is also a pre-tour in Cape Town from 11-15 November and a post-tour to Livingstone and Lusaka from 20-24 November. It is imminent…

14-16 March 2024

New Orleans, USA (Americas)

It's set to be a 'Great Wine Weekend' - become immersed in the world of jazz, delicious cuisine and stunning architecture of the French Quarter. Discover wines to match with Cajun and Creole cuisine too. Registration is now open for a weekend of fine wine and food in this most vibrant of cities. Click here to find out more.

28 May - 1 June 2024

Loire Valley, France (Europe Africa)

Join members around the world for the opportunity to discover this region with its chateaux, fine cuisine and different wines produced along the longest river in France from the Atlantic coast through Touraine to central France. This festival is fully booked but has a waitlist which you may still join. Click here to see the programme.

19-26 August 2024

Switzerland & Amsterdam (Americas)

Swiss Alps, Rhine Castles and Wine Cruise: A truly magical event is in the planning with a cruise along the Rhine with AmaWaterways while enjoying an exclusive food and wine experience tailored for IWFS members. Enjoy private winery tours from the foothills of the Swiss Alps to the canals of Amsterdam. Watch out for further details.

15-17 November 2024

Hong Kong (Asia Pacific)

If you are looking for an energetic and exciting festival programme then Hong Kong will not disappoint with its host of high profile venues. A post-tour to Macau (dates tbc) is also planned, including a visit to its UNESCO historic centre. Watch out for further news.

If you are interested in joining an event that is full, or reservations closed, then please contact the organiser in case space is available.

135 Branches Worldwide

Click here to view a complete list and map of our branches around the world.
Or on the following links in your chosen region to see where they are.

Americas · Asia Pacific · Europe Africa

Why not explore the opportunities of running a virtual inter-branch event – maybe Miami and Manchester, Tecate and Tokyo Bay – the world, and their cultures, are your oyster...?
Contact our International Secretariat to find out more.

International Council of Management

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