The International Federation of Wine Brotherhoods (F.I.C.B. in French)
What is a wine brotherhood?
These orders came about in the Middle Ages, just like the professional brotherhoods we know today. The brotherhoods brought together individuals practising a similar discipline; however, they shared common social or religious objectives. A sense of solidarity was enforced by offering tangible support to less fortunate members and ensuring spiritual guidance through encouraging the worship of a patron saint.
The onset of the French Revolution threatened the existence of these brotherhoods. Nonetheless, several, in particular, the wine brotherhoods were revived in the nineteenth century and still maintain their religious and mutually beneficial traditions.
Today there are many wine brotherhoods and some were even recently founded. Nowadays, they may no longer be avid followers of Saint Vincent (patron saint of wine) and their objectives may be more or less secular than spiritual. Wine federations sometimes carry out charitable functions; however their primary mandate is cultural and festive.
The brotherhoods ensure and maintain high quality control. This function consequently enhances the reputation of products from the various “terroirs” and a certain level of respect for the associated traditions. Within this framework, the brotherhoods participate in numerous promotional events, such as, fairs, exhibitions and local celebrations that make up the winemakers’ calendar.
With their fancy dress, emblems and initiation rituals they not only focus on perpetuating the history of their community; they vigorously defend the values which drive the preservation of a certain convivial way of life.
The FICB unites more than 80 wine brotherhoods from wine producing brotherhoods all over the world. It was founded in 1964 with the following missions:
- To promote wine regions of all the countries as well as the particularities of their production.
- To encourage the consumption of wine as a healthy and natural drink coming from the very ancient times
- To educate the consumer on the tasting of fine wines produced throughout the world
- To prioritize inter-brotherhood relations and to renew the noble meaning of the words ‘brotherhood’ and ‘knighthood’
Every year, a working congress is organized by one of the brotherhoods in a different region of the world. Outside of the discovery of the host association’s wine producing area, a work day (a plenary session) is systematically dedicated to the tasting of wines from all over the world. The wines are commented and discussed throughout this session. The congress also aims to find solutions for problems being encountered by these wines.
Statutes of the Federation
The federation is regulated by the law of 1901. The only brotherhoods that can join the federation are those with a mission of defending wine and wine-related products.
The oath taking requires the commitment of the brotherhood, which, according to a medieval charter, pledges to :
- Maintain in all situations the reputation of wine and the vineyard
- Honour the brothers
- Encourage art and discourage negativity
- Banish evil and help the vulnerable
- Show that the civilization of the vine and the wine well exist
- Be faithful to the tradition of the vine and the wine
The federation’s headquarters are located at the Wine Museum of Paris.
Official Website of the F.I.C.B. : www.winebrotherhoods.org
Chateau Labastidié Gaillac
Since 1990, Château Labastidié has been the property of the members of the Conseil des Echansons de France, a wine brotherhood with a mission of promoting and defending French wine appellations in France and throughout the world. Its headquarters are located at the Wine Museum of Paris.
Château Labastidié, is envelopped by a sea of vineyards, situated at the top of a hill with a spectacular view of the Tarn Valley and bordered by an eighteen hole golf course on a rolling terrain.
Our air-conditioned reception area is located in the former fermenting room of the winery. The hall, the park and pool are perfectly convenient for the organization of Christmas parties, picnics, festive evening events, private company functions (sports days, food and wine fests …), group weddings, press conferences, product displays, day or evening seminars, completely personalized.
Château Labastidié Website : www.chateaulabastidie.com
Council of Echansons of France (Le Conseil des Echansons de France)
Visit the Website : www.conseil-des-echansons-de-france.com