foto: Concours Mondial de Bruxelles

Conversation with the CEO of Concours Mondial de Bruxelles

Concours Mondial de Bruxelles, the largest traveling European wine judging competition, continues its journey, this time towards Croatia. Over the past 30 years, this prestigious event has tested and rated over 175,000 wines from 65 different countries. Established in 1994 by Louis Havaux, the competition has gained a reputation thanks to its distinctive style and uncompromising approach to wine rating.


Since 2006, Concours Mondial de Bruxelles has visited numerous prestigious vineyard destinations, including Lisbon, Bordeaux, Palermo, Luxembourg, Guimarães, Bratislava, Aigle, Beijing, and Brno. For its 30th anniversary edition, they have chosen Croatia, which according to Baudouin Havaux, the competition's president, is a growing wine destination with a rich history. "We are extremely happy and proud to hold the 30th Concours Mondial de Bruxelles in Istria," Havaux stated. "The competition aims to reflect market trends, and Croatia is a growing wine destination with a rich history. More than ever, wine has become an integral part of tourism, and the competition has introduced participants to the very top of this wine region that combines beautiful nature, fine cuisine, and quality wines."


Indeed, Concours Mondial de Bruxelles is not just a competition. It's an event that opens over 10,000 bottles of wine from around the world in just three days each year. The competition's strict selection process and rating protocol provide assurance to buyers, enabling them to confidently select award-winning wines.


Thomas Costenoble, the director of Concours Mondial de Bruxelles, shared some exceptionally impressive figures in a conversation with Croatian Winemakers magazine. 

The competition was divided into four parts during which the international jury rated more than 7,500 wines from 50 different countries around the world. "Concours Mondial de Bruxelles is held in a different country each year," said Costenoble, "and this year it was Croatia, specifically Istria." However, wine rating wasn't the only thing on the agenda. Costenoble emphasized that there is much to learn and experience in Istria. "Most judges do not know much about Croatia, let alone Istria. Therefore, one of our goals will be to learn more about Istria and place it on the world wine map." This includes getting to know the indigenous Croatian grape varieties that the judges have not had the opportunity to taste before. "Before the competition, we educated them about the indigenous varieties of Istria, such as malvasia and teran, through workshops where we taught them about indigenous Croatian varieties. However, they are professionals who primarily judge the quality of the wine and grapes, regardless of the variety in question."


These words only confirm the importance and magnitude of this event. Concours Mondial de Bruxelles is not just a wine judging competition, but also a platform for education and promotion of global wine culture, and this year, that honor was given to Croatia. Regardless of who will take the medals home, one thing is certain - Istria and Croatia will be permanently marked on the world wine map.

Foto: Courtesy of Concours Mondial de Bruxelles