Mariano Fernández, Chile’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and former Ambassador to the United States, was unanimously voted the Chair of the Académie Internationale du Vin (International Wine Academy) in Geneva, Switzerland on December 3, 2009.
A life-long wine lover, Fernández has always been at the forefront in promoting Chilean wine. He has been a member of the IWA since 1997, was one of the founding members of the Chilean Association of Sommeliers, and received the 2009 CCV (Corporación Chilena del Vino) Award for his dedication and outstanding efforts in taking the message of Chilean wine to enophiles around the world.
Founded in 1971, the International Wine Academy is dedicated to research, analysis, production, and promotion of fine wine around the world. Its members are primarily European and come from many areas of the wine industry. According to a press release issued by the Chilean Embassy in the US, this is the first time in the organization’s history that it has named a non-producer to its highest position. Mr. Fernández is also the first Latin American member to hold the title.
To read an interview with Mariano Fernández published earlier this year see:
Wine Talk: Mariano Fernández in Wine Spectator