Tuesday, December 31, 2019

International Sommelier Competition Coming to Cyprus!

I'm not sure how many of you have heard, but Limassol will be hosting in 2020 the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale's (ASI) Best Sommelier of Europe & Africa competition. This should be a wonderful opportunity to showcase The Rock's wines and our little island as a great wine tourism destination. Check out the event's first press release below and stay tuned for plenty of more news on this world-class event coming to our shores next November.
ASI Contest of the Best Sommelier of Europe & Africa 2020 to be held in Cyprus
"1 Year to Go!"

Limassol, Cyprus -- Candidates from 3 African and 37 European countries will soon be squaring off in Cyprus for the title of “ASI Best Sommelier of Europe & Africa 2020.” The competition, to be held in the city of Limassol from 16-20 November 2020, will offer a colorful and press-friendly presentation of world-class wine professionals.
The wine-loving nation is proud to be hosting such a high-caliber event. “We are excited that in one year from today, the finest talents in wine service from all over Europe and Africa will gather on our island to determine a winner of the continental contest,” says Georgios Kassianos, President of the Cyprus Sommeliers Association.
His association is expecting many important guests. Each competing country will send a delegation including the candidate, the president of its national sommelier association and a journalist. Invitations will also be extended to all ASI presidents outside Europe and Africa as well.

Limassol was selected as host city in 2017 at the ASI’s General Assembly in Bordeaux.

Known as the international business hub of Cyprus, Limassol features both eye-catching historical flair, including a castle and historic center, as well as modern amenities such as a flashy marina and modern boutiques. And of course high-quality restaurants ready to treat travelers and locals to fantastic wines.
Georgios Kassianos
Two years into preparations, the event’s organizers express confidence that all will come together well. “The planning committee along with the ASI Technical Committee are promising a well-organized competition and a spectacular final. Journalists and presidents will tour the Cyprus vineyards and taste Cyprus wines,” Kassianos says. The ASI’s international sponsors will have a chance throughout the five day event to promote their products through organized workshops and participating at Bar Des Sommeliers, he added.

ASI President Andrés Rosberg expressed confidence in the event and its organizers: “Cyprus is a land of fantastic beauty, exquisite food and fascinating wines, domestic and imported. It is the perfect island meeting spot for a competition expected to draw the savviest wine professionals from two continents. It’s going to be a fantastic event.”

The winner of the competition will be offered an invitation to compete in the next ASI’s Best Sommelier of the World Contest. The site for that event, scheduled for 2022, will be determined by a vote among ASI members in late 2019.

A dedicated website as well as Instagram and Twitter will also be announced soon.

Source: Association de la Sommellerie Internationale

For more information, please contact:

Liora Levi
Head of Media and Communication

Michèle Chantôme
Secretary General ASI
Director PR, Communication & Marketing

Georgios Kassianos
President Cyprus Sommelier Association

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

A Case of Questions with Kyriakos Kynigopoulos, Consultant, Burgundia Oenologie

Originally from Greece, Kyriakos Kynigopoulous moved to France almost forty years ago where he has established himself as a world-class consultant for wineries in Burgundy and beyond.

First as head of SGS Oenlogie and then running his own company, Burgundia Oenologie, Kyriakos consults domaines throughout the world on how "to modernize their way of working and refine the style of their wines."

In his capacity as a consultant, Kyriakos has spent a myriad of years helping Cypriot wineries fine-tune their wines, combining "the rigor and objectivity of the researcher with a grain of philosophy applied to the most advanced concepts, while being constantly on the ground."

We recently had the chance to break bread and share some wine with Kyriakos as part of an event sponsored by Kyperounda Winery, so we thought it'd be wise to get his take on everything that's transpiring in The Rock's wine scene. À votre santé!

Why wine?

Wine and vines are my passion since my youth. My love for wine and vines is a result of my love for nature.

First wine that really captured your attention? How old were you? 

The wine that first caught my attention in Greece was Rapsani 1979 when I was 20 years old and then in Burgundy, the one big wine that impressed me, was Musigny Grand Cru 1990, Comte De Vogue, when I was 33.

All-time favorite bottle of wine?

All-time favorite wine is Montrachet for whites and Musigny for the reds.

Favorite wine-producing region? Why?

My favorite wine-producing region is Burgundy. I live and work there for 37 years now and I was a part of the wine revolution.

Your favorite food-and-wine pairing?

My favorite food-wine pairing is lobster with Pullingy Montrachet Premier Cru La Truffière.

What is Cyprus missing when it comes to wine?

The most important thing that is missing from the Cyprus wine industry is a given value to the local varieties of wine like Xinisteri, Promara, Maratheftiko, Giannoudi... and also to produce wine in different "terroirs."

What do you foresee for Cyprus’s wine industry? 

Cyprus wines already won the local market after 10 years of quality progress and now is the right time to export the wines abroad.

What do you enjoy most about your work in the food & wine world? 

My favorite part of my job is meeting different people in different countries all over the world and sharing with them the same love and care for vineyards and wines.

What is your “Five Year Plan” for your career in the wine industry? 

My Five Year Plan is to discover new lands of wines and meet new people.

Who is your favorite wine personality? Why? 

My favorite wine personality is Pablo Alvarez from Vega Sicilia who succeeded to create a myth around his wines.

Any embarrassing episodes involving spilled wine, corkscrews, sommeliers or drunken behavior?

An awkward situation that very often happens is when sommeliers are insisting on their opinion about my wine selection with a "class" about what is wine and vintage.

Of course, your all-time favorite island wine?

My all-time classic favorite island wine is Assyrtiko from Santorini and my favorite coffee is Kona from Hawaii, both volcanic!

You can follow Kyriakos on his website, Twitter or Instagram accounts.