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century of history and the same ethos continues

1907 – 2007, two exceptional years marked for eternity in the history of the French sommelier profession.  The long, marvelous history of the Parisian Sommelier Association celebrated during the month of November this year, also commemorated the achievements of an entire profession.

Before being established with its current name, this association was first called the 'Union des Sommeliers de Paris'.  Emile Carme initially formed a friendly society working to ensure social protection for its members, both sommeliers and cellar masters.

Two World Wars gradually caused the approach and role of the USP to develop; it lost its autonomy by merging with the 'Mutualité Hôtelière' in 1959.

Ten years later, sommeliers regained their independence as the ASP ('Association des Sommeliers de Paris') was founded with its current name and at this time held a key position in France and therefore within the UDSF ('Union de la Sommellerie Française').  In the same year, 1969, with the impetus of Louis Lebail, the 'Association de la Sommellerie Internationale' was created and federated other organisations.  The wheels were therefore set in motion...

Gilbert Letort, then Jean Frambourt followed on from this visionary president and in their own way marked the development of this association.  Crowned with the title of the 'World's Best Sommelier', Philippe Faure-Brac held this function for a time before passing on the role to Jean-Michel Deluc and now Jean-Luc Jamrozik.  A succession of presidents all devoted to enhancing the image of their profession, by ensuring the presence of this metier in establishments given the rank of ambassadors for French gastronomy, and by assisting candidates in their preparation for various competitions.

It is a form of solidarity and mutual assistance that brings to mind the attitude which motivated sommeliers back in 1907.

Jean Bernard
Courtesy of: Sommeliers International