A "complete and permanent encyclopaedia" of the world's spirits was what founder Paul Ricard had in mind when, in 1958, he first asked producers to donate unopened bottles of their brands to Exposition Universelle des Vins et Spiritueux. Distillers from 52 nations on six continents responded.
It is in Iran, in the Zagros mountains, on the site of the Hajji Firuz Tepe, that the oldest amphora containing grape wine was discovered, dating back 5400 years before the birth of Jesus Christ.
The culture of wine progressively spanned the entire planet. Except in the coldest regions on the globe, the grapevine blooms from Europe to America and of Asia in the Australian continent everywhere. Nowadays, wine is produced in more than 50 countries and is consumed by 35 million people every day.
One thing is certain: there is not a country in the world which produces wine exactly like its neighbour. Every population has its grape varieties, its regions, its terroirs and its recipes, improved over the course of the centuries, to touch the most noble of purposes: the pleasure of distribution and culture. It is the exciting message and the universal force of the wine.