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Press release

Lyon International Competition: What's new for the 2017 edition

Concours de Lyon ? March 25, 2017

February 2017 – The 8th edition of the Lyon International Competition will be held on Saturday, 25 March 2017, at the Cité Internationale in Lyon.

This competition, which is international in scope, will welcome more than 700 tasters whose task will be to taste and mark more than 5800 wines, beers and spirits. The best wines in each category will be eligible to receive a medal, either Gold or Silver.

54 categories to differentiate beers

Since more and more beers are being entered in the Competition, 43 additional categories have been created to differentiate between them. Brewers now have 54 categories in which to enter their beers, juries will be put together according to more exact criteria, and the various beers will be tasted under optimal conditions.

The marking scale has also been revised with the help of brewers and buyers, so that it better reflects their choice criteria.

65 new families of spirits tasted in 2017

The Lyon International Competition is now open to even more spirits. This year tasting will include: whiskies, bourbons, brandies, soju, shochu, baijiu, gins, vodkas, rums, Cachaça, punches, cocktails, anise-flavoured liquors, cream liqueurs, other liqueurs and Sherries.

This diversity means consumers can rely on the Lyon International Competition - its tasting methods and its medals - for guidance when selecting even more types of spirits.

In 2017, the Lyon International Competition's honorary president will be Gaëtan Bouvier, 'Best Sommelier in France' for 2016 and Head Sommelier at the Villa Florentine (1 Michelin star).

This wine-lover from France's Isère department, son of a farmer and a school-teacher, was at first more interested in cooking. So he got a BTS diploma in catering, and headed for Henri Gagneux's 'La Palette' restaurant in Wettolsheim. This establishment in the heart of Alsace's wine-growing region gave Gaëtan the opportunity to meet winemakers, visit vineyards and discover a new passion: wine!

So Gaëtan returned to school to learn all about wine, and with the 'sommellerie' option added to his diploma was snapped up by the Majestic, a historic luxury hotel on the Croisette. But Gaëtan is very close to his family and wanted to get back to his roots, so 8 years ago he returned to the Rhône-Alpes region and became Head Sommelier of Villa Florentine restaurant in the heights of Lyon. For 8 years now, the man who says he "works in catering" officiates in the dining room of the Michelin-starred restaurant, where he enjoys sharing his wine finds with diners.

His motto? "Knowledge is not there to be shown off, it?s there to be shared when needed". A fine example of humility.

In November 2016, Gaëtan's many years of hard work were rewarded when he received the title of 'Best Sommelier in France'.

To find out more about the competition go to

Press contact:
Victor Gomez - Tel: +33 (0)4 74 68 84 40