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Martine Becker

Dear Readers,

In this colourful newsletter, some of you will find your photo or your name mentioned, while others will hopefully be inspired to participate in our activities which bring to life the wine and food culture of Alsace. Alsace wines are always memorable, whether served young at a commented tasting or, after careful ageing in our unique Oenothèque wine library, selected to match a simple buffet or to illustrate a gastronomic theme or to be served at a ceremonial banquet or gala event…

Confirmed lovers of fine wine, but increasingly more young people keen to learn, attend our sell-out Chapters, wine and food themed evenings and tastings of older vintages at the Château:  in the caveau, the chapter room or the Schwendi ballroom. Long may this continue, for the Confrérie St-Etienne to be the flagship for Alsace wines, in a multi-lingual atmosphere where 4 languages are spoken : Alsatian, French, German and English (and some of us also speak Italian, Spanish or Japanese).

Modern and outward-looking, we participated in the French annual national heritage weekend by opening our Château to the general public, not only to those interested in historic buildings but also those intrigued to visit our home base and to discover our activities… some people had thought the Confrérie must be a secret, closed society !

To be elected Grand Maître is of course a rare honour for a woman, and I devoted myself fully to the cause of what is as you know one of the oldest wine guilds in France. Succeeding Pascal Schultz and preceding Jean-Louis Vézien, my 10 months in office were full of activity and responsibility, in which I was greatly aided by the Major, Ignace Kuehn, by the advice of our Chancellor and past and future Grands Maîtres, by all the volunteers and by the full-time team led by Eric Fargeas.

Finally, I must thank our Saints Etienne, Urban and Vincent who kept a watchful eye on this young apprentice in the world of Alsace wine, who talked her way aboard in 1978 and ended up as captain of the flagship in 2018… without having to suffer a mutiny on board !

Martine BECKER

Grand Maître 2018