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Programs and Events 2010

Vins et Spiritueux des Etats-Unis

March 24, 2010

The Bureau of Agricultural Affairs of the U.S. Embassy in Paris hosted “Vins et Spiritueux des Etats-Unis” at the Ambassador’s Residence on March 24, 2010. The afternoon started with a seminar organized by the Wine Institute of California, “Sustainability in California,” on California’s own grape Zinfandel.  Immediately following the seminar, over 100 eager wine tasters, potential wine buyers, and French press gathered at the residence for the tasting of American Wines and Spirits.

The wine connoisseurs were able to choose from 107 wineries showcasing U.S. wine from California, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Missouri, Michigan, New York State, Oregon, Virginia, and Washington State.  Also present were 5 whiskey and bourbon brands from Kentucky and New York.

First time attendee Denis Delmas was invited by a friend. “I have discovered good caliber California wine,” Delmas said. “It’s not surprising but the wine is better than what I thought I knew. I have a few favorites, Zinfandel is one of them.”

Many French wine tasters were surprised by the America wines, particularly the wine from California. Most enthusiasts were pleased with the California wine. For Paul Molleman, Director of the Wine Institute of California in Europe, his mission was partly accomplished as he hoped that French wine tasters would leave the event with a new love for California wines.
“I want for the guests to say wow, I didn’t know that California wine is this good,” said Molleman.

The Foreign Agricultural Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture has organized this wine tasting event jointly for several years. Approximately 40 wine producers from California attend with the aim to showcase their wine to the French press, French trade, Retailers and French Importers. By having this yearly event, Molleman expects the overseas wine market, particularly wine importers in France, to become more educated not just about American wine but California wine as well.  

“Half of the American wineries are looking for a French importer or someone that has a French importer that can sell their wine at a restaurant,” Molleman said. “40 out of 50 American wines that are imported come from California so it’s a gradual process.”