Every January, the World Economic Forum convenes the world's top business, government, academic and civil society leaders for a 5-day conference in the Swiss ski resort of Davos. As a wine enthusiast and a member of the internal WEF think tank, known as the Centre for Strategic Insight, Vidhi Tambiah organised some high quality wine tastings as part of the official Annual Meeting programme. Jancis Robinson OBE MW, a leading wine critic, author and TV personality acted as host and wine guide. Together with Vidhi, she meticulously designed and developed the tasting programme and executed a highly professional and informative series of sessions. These tastings included "Classic Clarets", "Old World versus New World", "The Judgement of Davos" and "Mines and Wines".
These sessions were instantly popular with a wide and varied Davos group and served as a gathering point for individuals who loved wine and who also happened to be global leaders. Inspired by how these wine tastings stimulated discussion, Vidhi also organised a trip to Napa Valley in conjunction with the Harvard Business Review as a creative format for developing HBR/WEF's top 10 business ideas for 2008. At this two-day retreat, guests were invited to Delia Viader's vineyard perched on the Howell Mountain in Napa. After a heavy day's discussion, participants enjoyed a range of Californian wines together with a dinner prepared by Alice Waters and the team at Chez Panisse.
In 2009, Vidhi joined forces with David Spreng, a wine enthusiast, Silicon Valley venture capitalist and long-time Davos regular. David had attended every wine event that Vidhi had organised and together they co-founded the Wine Forum as a non-profit Swiss based association. Together they expanded the Wine Forum's activities beyond the exclusive Davos wine tastings to incorporate a fundamental philanthropic element and site visits to the top vineyard areas where members would meet wine maker and be able to buy wine.
The Inaugural Tasting of the newly formed Wine Forum took place in Zurich in January 2010. This tasting for 50 people was chaired by Jancis Robinson MW and lubricated by Olivier Krug of Maison Krug and Pierre Lurton who showed a dazzling vertical of Cheval Blanc and Chateau d'Yquem vintages. You may gain access to the programme booklet for this event here.
Our June 2010 two-day Bordeaux excursion involved 25 members. The Chateaux we visited included Margaux, Lafite, Latour, Le Pin, Petrus, Cheval Blanc, Pontet-Canet, Cos d'Estournel, Pichon Baron and Valandraud among others. We also enjoyed some very special wine dinners where members highlighted their philanthropic activities. The booklet for this excursion may be found here.
In September 2010, a group of 30 members joined our Napa excursion where we visited a variety of vineyards and producers including Harlan Estate, Colgin, Araujo, Joseph Phelps, Staglin Family Vineyards and Bond. We also tasted many wines during evening dinners and lunches including Screaming Eagle, Ovid, Scarecrow, Continuum, Vineyard 29 and Dana Estates. Also a feature of this trip was the educational visit to the Napa Valley Reserve where members were personally tutored on "how to taste" wine and also tried their hands at blending a vat. The booklet for this trip may be found here.
Our Davos tasting in 2011 comprised a selection of the most highly rated wines in the world. Fiona Morrison MW and Olivier Krug led us in a stunning selection of "perfect" wines as rated by one of three different raters (Robert Parker, Jancis Robinson MW and the Wine Spectator). These raters were selected to give a diversity of opinion to what constitutes a "perfect" wine. This programme booklet may be viewed here.