In the Conclave Room of the Palace of the Popes, in Avignon, eight new personalities, among whom His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco, were inducted into the Echansonnerie des Papes Brotherhood on Friday 1st April.
On Friday 1st April, in the Conclave Room of the Palace of the Popes, in Avignon, eight new personalities, among whom His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco, were inducted into the Echansonnerie des Papes Brotherhood.
« Receive this key that opens the door to our cellars and to our hearts ».
These words, which are traditionally pronounced during the induction ceremonies of the Echansonnerie des Papes, carried a special resonance on that evening of 1st April. For the person facing Frédéric Coulomb, the Grand Auditeur, in the Conclave Room of the Palace of the Popes, was no less than His Serene Highness the Prince Albert II of Monaco, who passed the entrance test with flying colours! As did the other personalities inducted during that exceptional Grand Council, i.e.:
- François Audouze, collector of rare and ancient wines;
- Anne Chaussebourg, political journalist, professor at Sciences Po (Paris Institute of Political Studies), and former deputy director of daily newspaper Le Monde;
- Michael Hornickel, president of the FIJEV (International Federation of Wine and Spirits Journalists and Writers);
- Bernard Gonzalez, Prefect of the Vaucluse département;
- Fabrice Sommier, sommelier, « meilleur ouvrier de France » sommelier 2007;
- Didier Perreol, founder of EKIBIO group;
- Mika Häkkinen, racing driver, Formula 1 World Champion in 1998 and 1999.
Thereby, the Prince of Monaco and his then fellow échansons joined the group of 3500 or so figures which have been inducted since 1968, the year the Echansonnerie des Papes, the Brotherhood of Châteauneuf-du-Pape Wines, was created. All Echansons are now the champions of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine appellation, the very first PDO (Protected Denomination of Origin) in France, celebrating its 80th birthday this year!