By Valentina Phillips
South Moravia and the city of Brno in the Czech Republic have been chosen to host the 2020 Concours Mondial de Bruxelles. The news was revealed today after the final tasting session in Aigle. True to the tradition of the competition, the mayor of Aigle, Frédéric Borloz, solemnly handed over the Concours Mondial wine glass to Dr. Bohumil Šimek, governor of the South Moravia region:
As representative of the Aigle producers’ organisation and also chairman of the Swiss winegrowers’ federation, I have been doubly honoured and proud to host the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles in our country. Judging from the happy faces on the last day, I think we have attained our objective which is to demonstrate the quality of our wines and our welcome. I hope my colleagues in Brno have as much pleasure as we had in organising an event as prestigious as the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles.
To celebrate the occasion, the Czech Republic invited the panel members at the 26thcompetition to a traditional lunch at Aigle Chateau, accompanied by a performance of Moravian folk music.
Mostly known for its beer, many are unaware that wine in the Czech Republic is older than the country itself. In fact, wine growing in the South Moravian region has been traced back to the time of the Roman Empire.
“By holding the competition in a different country each year, we have a unique opportunity to uncover the hidden gems of the wine world and to turn the spotlight on wine regions which many are still unfamiliar with”, explains Baudouin Havaux, chairman of the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles.
The Czech Republic has been entering wines in the competition since its very beginning in 1994. 142 Czech wines competed in the 2019 Concours Mondial de Bruxelles – over 20% more than the year before.
“Czech wines and the wine regions of the Czech Republic will gain even more visibility, thanks to the organization of this event and its extensive media reach”, says Pavel Krška, director of the Czech Republic’s national wine centre.“We believe that the publicity associated with the competition will help to expand and strengthen awareness of the quality of wines from Moravia and Bohemia, not only in our country but also throughout the world. We are looking forward to cooperating with journalists and wine tasters as part of this world-famous competition, and to them promoting our winemakers and the Czech Republic as a whole.”
For a nation of its size and relatively small area under vine (ca. 17,900 ha), the Czech Republic produces over 50 different varieties of vines. 69 % of vineyards are planted with white grape varieties. Some new vines grown domestically include Moravian Muscat, Pálava, André and others.
The city of Brno is located in the Moravian wine region, where 96% of Czech vineyards lie. Thomas Costenoble, director of the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles, explains the choice of the city by its excellent tasting facilities with accommodation in the immediate vicinity and surrounding vineyards nearby. “Brno offers all the prerequisites for a successful competition”, concludes Costenoble.
The 2020 Concours Mondial de Bruxelles will be held from May 1 to 3 in the Brno Exhibition Centre, which is one of the largest exhibition centres in Europe.