The Académie du CEP is a Swiss brotherhood whose vocation is to promote wines from Geneva and to enhance people’s personal experience in wine tasting. The competitions organised by the Academy are therefore a perfect example of individual enrichment. On July 4, a highly expected event took place at Raphaël Dunand’s Domaine des Lolliets in Soral: the famous annual wine tasting competition, brilliantly organized by the Academy itself. And, as with every event, the desire to share the passion for wines was there. Let’s focus on a brotherhood and on a unique competition.
Académie du CEP’s ranks under the spotlight
You can easily and quickly notice it, the Académie du CEP’s Council, proudly wearing burgundy chasubles, hats, white gloves, ribbons and shiny medals. If you give it a closer look, you will also notice that all members of the brotherhood wear a medal, but that not all the ribbons are the same. Indeed, the colour of this elegant fabric changes according to the rank in the hierarchy.
The colour of a ribbon, however, is not definitive, quite the contrary in fact. Thanks to the annual tasting competition, which is by the way a real challenge for the participants, they have the opportunity to evolve within the Academy and to rise through the ranks, by recognizing three of the five grape varieties that are presented to them. For example, a novice with a « Compagnon » title can become a « Compagnon bon dégustateur » and thus trade his red and yellow ribbon for a blue one, or even aspire to the title of « Ecuyer » if he performs a full score. Also, when a perfect score is achieved three times in a row, the member can become a « Chevalier » and proudly wear a red ribbon.
The small bunches of grapes pinned on the ribbons are not meaningless either. They are given to those “Chevaliers” who have recognized again, three times in a row, the five grape varieties that they tasted. They then become « Maîtres Chevaliers » and each year they can test their knowledge again to try to win a brand-new grape.
As you will for sure have understood, the Académie du CEP counts among its loyal followers many experts in the wine area, some of whom are also members of the jury of the Sélection des vins de Genève. But above all, whatever the rank, whatever the colour of the ribbon, everyone is part of this family, the one of the wine enthusiasts, and share pleasant and beautiful moments together.
July 4, 2020 – at the very heart of the tasting competition
This year, it was on a beautiful summer’s day that this friendly competition gave seventy-five participants, women and men, the opportunity to come on stage to blindly taste wines and test all their senses. Chenin blanc, Chasselas, Viognier, Cabernet franc or even Syrah: no less than ten grape varieties, five white wines and five red wines from Domaine des Lolliets, that the members had to try to recognize. On the tasting sheet, next to each mysterious grape variety, words such as « lively », « fruit », « pepper » or even « honey » can be spotted. These terms are in fact precious clues, which will guide the tasters and put them on the right track.
The eye that carefully observes the colour of the nectar, the nose that inhales the pleasant scents from the glass, the palate that delights itself with the various aromas, the sheet that fills up step by step: we can observe that all the senses are awakened and that all the minds are well concentrated during the whole competition.
Once the tasting is over and the personal files are submitted, everyone takes the opportunity to gather with their companions, to meet, laugh, discuss and, of course, share a tasty glass of wine over a meal during which they will find out if there is a possibility of upgrading through the Academy’s ranks. Regarding the official raising of grades, they take place every year, in September, on the occasion of the famous Russin’s Grape Harvest Festival.