The countdown has started for the Indian Wine Academy's delWine Summit and Excellence Awards 2019, which will be held on April 21 at the Pullman New Delhi Aerocity. It will be both a forum for industry leaders to exchange ideas about the state of the wine business in India and the world and an occasion to honour professionals in the hospitality industry who are actively promoting wine culture in India.
The brainchild of Subhash Arora, who founded the ground-breaking Delhi Wine Club in 2002, the delWine Summit and Excellence Awards were first held in September 2016 at the Pullman Delhi Aerocity in the presence of industry stalwarts such as Kapil Grover (Grover Zampa), Rajeev Samant (Sula Vineyards), Ravi Viswanathan (Managing Partner of the PE Fund Visvires, based out of Singapore) and Aman Dhall (Brindco).
On April 21, wine enthusiasts are being offered a triple treat:
(a) The India Wine Summit, where important government functionaries and international personalities will engage with India's wine industry and hospitality sector leaders - notably, Loic Pasquet (creator of Liber Pater, one of the world's most controversial and expensive wines); Ravi Viswanathan (the biggest investor in the wine sector); Rajeev Samant (Founder-CEO, Sula Vineyards); AD Singh (Managing Director, Olive Bar amp; Kitchen); and Sonal Holland (India's first Master of Wine).
(b) Wines of the World (WOW) showcase to enable the delegates to sample the best wines already available, or about to be introduced, in the Indian market.
(c) The delWine Excellence Awards evening, followed by a dinner curated by the Pullman's multiple award-winning chefs.
It will also be an occasion for the 10 exceptional women, who are on delWine's much-anticipated biennial women of a wine list, to be honoured publicly for the first time since the inception of the list in 2013. delWine is the wine and hospitality e-newsletter that Arora launched in 2006 and has been steering single-handedly since then. It reaches a global readership of 33,000 wine and hospitality industry professionals spread across 71 countries.
"I was particularly touched by the way the industry warmly received the idea at its first edition. Not a single award was challenged, and when I wasn't able to organise the event earlier because of factors not under my control, I got numerous inquiries about my decision and a lot of encouragement to continue what I had started. I am back therefore with not just the awards, but also the first-ever national summit of the wine industry," said on the summit and awards, Arora.
"We are very happy to be associated with the summit and awards yet again this time. I am confident they will only become bigger and better. I am particularly happy about the summit, where, I believe, one of the subjects to be discussed is the quality of wine education in the country. It is particularly important for the quality of human resources available to the hospitality industry," said Tristan Beau de Lomenie, Accor's Director of Operations LUXE Hotels India, and General Manager Delegate, Pullman and Novotel New Delhi Aerocity.
The award categories being considered this year are:
1. Delhi's Best Wine Destination (Five-Star Hotel)
2. Delhi's Best Wine Destination (Stand-Alone Restaurant)
3. NCR's Best Wine Destination (Five-Star Hotel)
4. NCR's Best Wine Destination (Stand-Alone Restaurant)
5. Best Wine Sommelier of the Year (Delhi-NCR/Five-Star Hotels)
6. Best Wine Sommelier of the Year (Delhi-NCR/Standalone Restaurants)
7. Best Indian Wine Selection (Delhi-NCR/Five-Star Hotels)
8. Best Indian Wine Selection (Delhi-NCR/Standalone Restaurants)
9. Best International Wine Selection (Delhi-NCR/Five-Star Hotels)
10. Best International Wine Selection (Delhi-NCR/Standalone Restaurants)
11. Indian Cuisine Restaurant with Best Wine List (Delhi-NCR/Five-Star Hotels)
12. Indian Cuisine Restaurant with Best Wine List (Delhi-NCR/Standalone Restaurants)
13. Best Wine Retailer (Delhi/NCR)
14. Best Wine Service (Delhi-NCR/Five-Star Hotels)
15. Best Wine Service (Delhi-NCR/Standalone Restaurants)
16. Best Wine Events (Delhi-NCR/Five-Star Hotels)
17. Best Wine Events (Delhi-NCR/Standalone Restaurants)
Editor's Choice Awards
1. Best Value for Money Wine List (Delhi-NCR/Five-Star Hotels)
2. Best Value for Money Wine List (Delhi-NCR/Standalone Restaurants)
3. Most Wine Proactive General Manager of the Year (Delhi-NCR/Five-Star Hotels)
The award winners have been short-listed by a jury chaired by Anil Wadhwa, India's former ambassador to Italy and San Marino, and distinguished fellow, Vivekananda Research Institute, and comprising distinguished hoteliers and wine professionals such as K. B. Kachru, Anil Bhandari, Dilip Puri, Gautam Anand, Isabelle Beau de Lomenie and Noi Cecilia Oldne. Each award-winner will get a trophy and a certificate on April 21. "We have only one objective. We want the award-selection process to be entirely above suspicion, which is why the final list will be based only on the majority opinions of the jury. Only the best must win," commented Arora.
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