OMGD International Grand Chapitre
Porto & the Douro Valley, September 11-15, 2019
Successful and memorable in an iconic location
" Members and their guests .. were truly overwhelmed by the entire programme "

The 2nd International Grand Chapitre of the Ordre Mondial des Gourmets Dégustateurs (OMGD) was successfully held from September 11-15 in Portugal - centred on Porto and the Douro Valley. The Grand Chapitre was attended by 145 participants from 24 countries with the involvement of 14 passionate and high-quality wine and Port wine producers.

The Douro is the world’s oldest demarcated wine region (since 1756) and since 2001 is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is also of course the world-acclaimed Port wine region.

The event kicked off on Wednesday, September 11th with a welcome reception with cocktails and dinner at the Crowne Plaza Porto Hotel. Members and guests enjoyed a five-course menu especially composed for this occasion by Jorge Sousa, the hotel’s Executive Chef. The paired wines were sponsored by Aníbal Soares, Bailli Délégué of Portugal, from his own production brand “Socalcos Do Côa”.

Thursday was fully dedicated to visiting the Douro Valley estates. The tour commenced with a visit to the Douro Museum where participants were introduced to Porto and the Douro wine life and history. Following this unique visit, the group stopped for an unforgettable lunch by the renowned Portuguese Chef Rui Paula at his Michelin 1-star Restaurant “DOC”.

Thereafter, the group visited Quinta Do Seixo (The home of Sandeman Port). A guided tour of the vineyards and the production facilities was followed by a tasting of a selection of Sandeman Vintage Ports. Next stop was Quinta Da Pacheca where the group had a guided tour of the vineyards followed by participation in the harvest. Those who wished to do so could join in the traditional treading of the grapes while a local band played harvest and “treading” music.

The day was concluded by a wine tasting and winemaker dinner at a one-off dining set-up in Pacheca’s wine cellar. Their winemaker, Maria Serpa Pimentel, presented and explained the type of grapes and character of each of two different paired wines for each dish served.

Friday morning saw the participants transferred by buses to Casa Ferreirinha for a guided tour of the facilities, which are considered as the biggest lodge or cellar for maturing Port wines. Afterwards the group attended a Port wine technical tasting and a master class conducted by George Sandeman. George explained the difference between the various types of port wines, and between the maturing methods and the top of the range Vintage Ports.

Next it was Taylor’s own hotel “The Yeatman Relais and Chateaux”. In the Michelin 2-star Yeatman Restaurant everyone enjoyed an amazing Yeatman Signature Cocktail followed by an exquisite six-course luncheon prepared by Chef Ricardo Costa. Each course was strictly paired with superb Vintage Ports which were introduced by Beatriz Machado, Taylor’s Corporate Wine Director.

In the early evening, the group visited the “Confraria do Vinho do Porto” where 50 of the participants were inducted by its President George Sandeman as members of this renowned distinguished brotherhood. The induction was followed by a Gala Dinner at the same premises.

Saturday’s programme began with a spectacular open-deck bus city tour followed by a boat trip on the Lower Douro River. Participants then had the choice of leisure time to further explore Porto or to return to the hotel for a rest before the evening programme commenced. First at the Porto Palacio Hotel were the Chaîne and OMGD Induction Ceremonies took place. In the finest traditions, the ceremonies were followed by a spectacular celebratory Gala Dinner.

The Grand Chapitre concluded on Sunday after breakfast.

Indeed it was a very successful and memorable 2nd International OMGD Grand Chapitre. Members and their guests revealed to us that they were truly overwhelmed by the entire programme. Everyone is now eagerly looking forward to the 3rd Grand Chapitre in 2020 (in Spain).

To conclude, I would like to take this opportunity to thank our President Yam Atallah, all my fellow members of the Conseil d’Administration, and the members of OMGD Committee for their support. Also, my gratitude and appreciation to our colleague, Bailli Délégué Aníbal Soares and his Bailliage of Portugal team for all their efforts which contributed no end to the successful realisation of the event. It definitely catered for the needs of wine lovers and enthusiasts among our members.

Vive la Chaîne!
Vive l’Ordre Mondial!

Mohamed Hammam
Chair, International OMGD Committee
Member of the Conseil d’Administration

NB. As well as the selected gallery of photos attached to this article, all the photos from the Competition can be viewed via this link: photos