OMGD International Grand Chapitre
Strasbourg, September 18-20, 2018
First of many to come
" indeed a very successful and memorable first OMGD International Grand Chapitre "

The 1st OMGD International Grand Chapitre was successfully held in the world-acclaimed wine-producing regions of Alsace in France and of Pfalz, Baden-Schwarzwald and Baden-Württemberg across the border in Germany.

It was attended by 165 participants from 23 different countries with 38 passionate and high-quality wine producers involved.

Commencing the intensive programme of visits, tastings and dining occasions was a buffet luncheon on Thursday 18th at the Sofitel Strasbourg Grand Île.

Thereafter we were taken by coach to the Michelin 1-star Restaurant “Au Jardin de France” in Baden-Baden, Germany. The evening began with a two hours’ long tasting of wines from eight producers in the Pfalz. The tasting was followed by a “Welcoming” dinner at the restaurant.

The following day, October 19th, was fully dedicated to Alsace. We visited and tasted the wines of some 20 wineries in the Bas-Rhin and Haut-Rhin breaking for lunch at “Restaurant La Palette” in Wettolsheim.

Late afternoon we visited Château de Kientzheim, the home of the Alsace wine association, “La Confrérie Saint Étienne”. The origins of the Confrérie date back to the 14th century.

Every December 26th - being Saint Etienne's day - the Society of the Notables of Ammerschwihr (a village near Colmar), whose major role was the close supervision of the quality of the wines of the city, met for its annual feast. The pomp and magnificence of this event was such that the population soon became accustomed to calling the society, the Confrérie of Saint Stephen (French: Saint Étienne).

At the Château we were welcomed by the principals of the Confrérie. Sixty of us were inducted as members of this ancient wine society after having passed a simple blind wine tasting test. In turn, five of the Board of the Confrérie Saint Etienne were inducted into the Chaîne with the grade of “Professionnel du Vin”.

The two ceremonies were followed by a wine tasting, a visit to the Confrérie’s unique wine cellar and dinner at the Château prepared by the renowned Chef, Maître Rôtisseur Stéphane Humbert, of the Sofitel Strasbourg Grande Île.

Early morning on Saturday, October 20th, the participants were travelled by coach to visit the Franz Keller Winery in Württemberg, Germany. We had tastings of wines from 10 different producers from Baden-Schwarzwald and Baden-Württemberg. This was followed by a luncheon at the winery’s dedicated restaurant.

The evening programme took place at the Restaurant “Au Bœuf Rouge” in Niederschaeffolsheim. After aperitifs the Induction Ceremony followed with 15 members inducted into the Chaîne and 30 members into the Ordre Mondial. The Gala Dinner was prepared by acclaimed Chef François Golla, Vice-Conseiller Culinaire of the Bailliage of Bas-Rhin.

All the wine producers chose the pairings for the luncheons and dinners. They also attended these dining events introducing their wines as each dish was served.

It was indeed a very successful and memorable first OMGD International Grand Chapitre. All participants shared how truly overwhelmed they were by the whole programme of events. Everyone is eagerly looking forward to participating in the Second International Grand Chapitre in 2019!

On a personal note as Chair of the OMGD Committee, I would like to take this opportunity to thank President Yam Atallah together with all my fellow members on the Conseil d’Administration for their encouragement and personal support in realising this event. It definitely met the needs of the wine lovers and enthusiasts amongst Chaîne members, some of whom were not previously enrolled into the OMGD but who have clearly asked to become members.

Vive la Chaîne!

Vive l’Ordre Mondial!

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