Jerez and the French city of Reims have much in common but the principal, distinctive common feature is wine: Sherry and Champagne, two of Europe’s historic denominations of origin which, among other similarities, share worldwide fame.
It is not surprising, therefore, that the capitals of Jerez (Sherry) and Champagne have set out on the road to twinning with research into wine production and academic cooperation as the focal points of the recent visit to Jerez of a delegation of the Georges Chappaz Institute of Wine and the Vine in Champagne, linked to Reims University.
The councils of both cities have not yet fixed a date for what will be Jerez’s twelfth twinning – see the full list of twinned towns annexed below – but unlike previous occasions, it has been decided to build the house from the ground up not the roof down, so before completion of the process, institutional relations will be strengthened with a series of meetings, the first of which was to promote the exchange of ideas and develop collaboration agreements.
We wanted to begin laying the foundations for a future twinning and their principal interest was to get to know the university and the Consejo Regulador, explained the municipal delegate for economic resources, Laura Álvarez, who emphasised that from this first meeting onwards we will hold working meetings to further develop the links in all that we share and work together to achieve the final objective of twinning.
The French delegation’s visit started with an introductory session on the history and production of Sherry at the Consejo Regulador by its director César Saldaña, followed by a visit to González Byass, the most visited bodega in Europe. The mayoress, Mamen Sánchez, hosted an official reception at the city chambers for our French neighbors who then had a tour of the historic city centre and ended the day with some flamenco. Next they met with representatives of the University of Cádiz to find out about the work of the Andalusian Wine and Vine Research Centre to promote exchanges between students and professors of both university institutions in the fields of Oenology and Philosophy and Letters. For Laura Castin, director of Champagne’s Chappaz Institute and of international relations of the University of Reims, thanks to the similarities between Jerez and Champagne, cooperation between the two institutions could contribute to the search for solutions to some of the challenges which confront wine production, for example the fight against disease of the wood of the vine caused by climate change, a field in which she said that
comparing the experiences of two different regions could bring about very interesting conclusions.
The Chappaz Institute is a platform for the exchange of knowledge between the university and associated wineries which, as well as promoting research also works to promote the historic and cultural patrimony of Champagne. Currently the institute is working on a project to create a degree in Wine Tourism at Reims University for which Castin feels that the cooperation of the wine and academic institutions of Jerez could be very interesting.
With regard to this, the Jerez municipal Culture delegate, Francisco Camas, said that the members of the institute
were very interested in our wine culture and despite being different regions, we share common traditions, commerce and economy where wine is concerned.
In his opinion, after the first meeting work will proceed towards a future with “exchanges of commerce and research creating mutual knowledge as the fruits born of the communication between these two cities”.
Reims & Jerez - twinning number twelve
Jerez and Reims have initiated the twelfth twinning of Jerez and its fourth with a city in France, the country with most cities twinned with Jerez, ahead of México with three. Reims will be the first city twinned in relation to wine, though there are another three twinned in relation to Brandy de Jerez. Here follows the complete list of cities twinned with Jerez in chronological order:
1. Arles (France) 1980
2. Tequila-Jalisco (México) 1982
3. Bristol (Great Britain) 1986
4. Cognac (France) 1989
5. Kiyosu (Japan) 1994
6. Biarritz (France) 1997
7. El Paso (United States) 1998
8. Ciudad Juárez (México) 1998
9. Foz de Iuaçú (Brazil) 1998
10. Zacatecas (México) 2005
11. Pisco y Moquegua (Perú) 2005
25 February 2017