IWSC welcomes new president

Brown-Forman chairman G. Garvin Brown IV has officially taken up the presidency of the International Wine & Spirit Competition.

G. Garvin Brown IV, chairman of Brown-Forman

G. Garvin Brown IV, chairman of Brown-Forman

The appointment took place at a ceremony in the cellars of Gonzalez Byass, whose head, Mauricio González Gordon, was IWSC president in 2012.

The event saw Brown join a long tradition of royalty, artists and politicians by becoming the latest high profile visitor to sign one of the bodega’s Sherry barrels. Previous signatories include Winston Churchill, Picasso and Orson Welles.

Accepting the presidency, Brown said: “The IWSC’s focus on quality – its recognition and celebration of quality brands – is the perfect antidote for so much that is gripping today’s consumer.”

With previous competition presidents including Prince Robert of Luxembourg, Gina Gallo and Wolf Blass, CEO of the IWSC Group Allen Gibbons welcomed Brown, saying: “The IWSC has always been honoured by the calibre of the men and women who take on the mantle of president of the competition and this week’s handover represented the passing of that honour between two of the great families of our industry.”

The fifth generation of the Brown family, which founded Brown-Forman in 1870 in Kentucky, G. Garvin Brown now heads the firm, whose brands include Jack Daniel’s, Southern Comfort, Finlandia Vodka and Herradura Tequila.

Click here for an interview with the drinks business last year, when G. Garvin Brown shared his views on what wine can learn from the spirits sector, the evolution of the modern spirits industry and Brown-Forman’s future plans.

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