On behalf of not just myself, but also the entire ASI Board: I hope this edition of the newsletter reaches you in good health and strong spirits. March 2020 will almost certainly be remembered around the world as a time that put both to the test.
In difficult times, there are few things for which to be more grateful than strong partners. It’s a roster that has required incredibly hard work and dedication to craft, but whose breadth and depth fundamentally reflects positively on our field and in particular on our members.
In the early days, ASI relied on one or two large sponsors, and over the years this evolved into a program limited to 10 partners. In time, though, this too ran its course and gave way to our current partnership structure, a contemporary system that welcomes multiple partners to collaborate with ASI in different ways and tiers -and allows ASI to team up with more partners, broaden its global reach, and develop more and better tools to promote sommellerie around the world. Our current program is a product of time, learning and collaboration.
I see these relationships as essential for helping ASI build its image as the premiere organization of its type and a leading organization in the entire wine world. They form a crucial pillar of our activity alongside education and competition. The increasing professionalism that we’ve seen in this area, culminating in the hiring of the tremendously talented Claire Berticat as our Director of Partnerships, reflects the general rise in professionalism of ASI… and a crucial step forward for our profession.
And so, in the coming weeks as we gather, in person with our loved ones or virtually with the rest of the world, the best way to stay connected is clear: support a local winery by opening a bottle of their finest, or indulge your fantasies of travel with a wine from far away. And if your pour — or the glass or the closure — comes from one of our partner producers, so much the better.
Just one more way in which we all can grow together!