In July, Claudia Quini, the then President of the OIV, gave an award to Dr Karl-Heins Wilms (picture: Michael Koehler received the award on behalf of Dr Karl-Heins Wilms), who has devoted his professional activity to the wine sector for more than 20 years as the Head of the German delegation of the OIV. She highlighted the exemplary nature of the German participation in the OIV which, in this period, has hosted two world congresses and had two presidents of the Organisation.
Mr Yves Bénard, Vice-President of the OIV, paid tribute, posthumously, to his Italian oenologist colleague, Professor Roberto Ferrarini. He was the Director of Research and Director of the departments of Development and University Research; a professor on the viticultural and oenological sciences course at the University of Verona and a member of the Italian Academy of Vine and Wine; as well as a member of the Italian OIV delegation on behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture, notably as part of the "Oenology" Commission and the "Technology" Expert Group.
Mr Jean-Marie Aurand, Director General of the OIV, gave a posthumous award to Mr Serge Hochar, who was involved in OIV activities for 20 years and was a major player in the renovation and development of Lebanon's wine sector. He was one of the architects of Lebanon's wine legislation established in 2000, Founder and President of the Union Vinicole du Liban and, more recently, President of the National Institute of Vine and Wine. He successfully positioned Lebanese wines on the international stage, a tireless ambassador dedicated to his passion and vision for his country's viticulture.
In October, the President of the OIV, Monika Christmann, presented the OIV Merit Award to Jean-Luc Dairien, currently the Director General of the French National Institute of origin and quality (INAO). She stressed Mr Dairien's contribution to the vitivinicultural sector both at the national level in his work as the ONIVINS Director as well as in his devotion to the OIV's “Economy and Law” Commission for ten years as its Scientific Secretary and President.
Finally, the OIV also granted its Merit Award to James Finkle, who died in September 2015 before receiving this recognition. He chaired the International Federation of Wines and Spirits (FIVS) for nearly 17 years. Under his leadership, the Federation has become the representative of the wine sector, particularly as an active observer with the OIV or Codex Alimentarius. The OIV pays tribute to the memory of a passionate man who devoted himself to the development of vitivinicultural activity around the world.