The Association of Sommeliers worldwide (ASI) was founded in June 1969 in Reims (France) as a non-profit organisation. Its headquarters are in Paris and it is chaired by a president elected for three years at a time. There are over 50 member states. All the well-known European and also international wine-growing countries are members. One of the main objectives is to actively participate in the development, organisation and recognition of the profession of sommelier. The main activities are training and the organisation of competitions. The first world championship took place in Brussels (Belgium) in 1969, the year of its foundation. After 1971 and 1978, it has been held every three years in a different member country since 1983. At the 14th competition in Tokyo (Japan) in 2013, the Italian Paolo Basso won the world championship title, and at the 15th competition in Mendoza (Argentina) in 2016, the Swede Jon Arvid Rosengren won against 61 competitors from 58 countries. Another association is called the Worldwide Sommelier Association. See also under Viticultural Institutions.
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