We need to go a long way back to discover the first international event in the wine field.
This was in 1874, after the phylloxera disaster which almost completely destroyed European viticulture, when the wine-growers of France, Italy, Switzerland, Austria and Germany, held a Congress in Montpellier which lasted from 26 to 30 October to search together for joint means to combat the formidable insect.
Thirty five years later, the phylloxera crisis had been overcome, but another peril, more insidious, menaced viticulture. This was the anarchic growth of production and trade which enabled fraud to reach such proportions that the worldwide market found itself inundated by all sorts of "beverages" incorrectly carrying the name of "wine".
Also, two Congresses were held in 1908 and 1909, one in Geneva and the other in Paris, to examine this worrying problem and serious progress was made in proposing a first definition of wine and in recalling and confirming the principles of the Madrid Convention of 14 April 1891 concerning the suppression of false indications of provenance.
This evolution, hindered by the First World War, got going again in 1916, at an international Conference of producer countries whose programme included: the revision of customs’ tariffs, the regulation of trade between States and the institution of an international body composed of delegates from exporting and importing countries, responsible for arbitrating conflicts that might arise between them.
Then, in 1922, the Society for the encouragement of Agriculture (French), still preoccupied by the worldwide situation of viticulture, suggested the creation of an international wine organization.
The idea was taken up, the following year, by the Genoa Conference (1923) during which it was even decide to hold a separate restricted meeting between Italy, France, Spain, Greece and Portugal to seriously examine the creation of such an organization. The delegates of these countries decided to meet again several months later in Paris, from 4 to 6 June, agreeing on the need for a permanent international Office which would be maintained through its members States sharing the expenses.
However, no concrete decision was taken on this occasion and two further Conferences were required, convened once again in Paris in 1924, to examine the possibilities and creation conditions for an international organization. Their long debates testify to the difficulty of defeating all reticence. They finally succeeded on 29 November 1924 with the signing of an Agreement concerning the creation in Paris of an Office international du vin by Spain, Tunisia, France, Portugal, Hungary, Luxembourg, Greece and Italy called the Agreement establishing an International Wine Office (OIV) in Paris.
Juridiquement, l'OIV est donc né. Mais, il ne prendra pas d'existence réelle tant que cinq pays au moins, n'auront pas déposé leurs ratifications, comme le stipule l'Arrangement. Il faudra donc attendre encore trois ans, jusqu'au 3 décembre 1927, pour que le nombre des ratifications requis soit réuni et pouvoir alors tenir la session constituante du 5 décembre 1927 regroupant les délégués au Salon de l'Horloge du Ministère des affaires étrangères pour la première session de travail de "l'Office international du Vin".
Par décision des Etats membres, l'Office International du Vin a pris le nom, depuis le 4 septembre 1958, d'Office International de la Vigne et du Vin.
After four years of preparatory work focusing on revising the international Agreement of 29 November 1924 establishing the International Vine and Wine Office, the fourth session of the International Conference of member states was held on 3 April 2001. The new International Agreement establishing the "International Organisation of Vine and Wine".
The revision was decided by a resolution of the OIV General Assembly on 5 December 1997 in Buenos Aires (Argentina). The objectives were the modernisation of missions and material means of the International Vine and Wine Office and their adaptation to the world context of the vitiviniculture sector.
The International Vine and Wine Office was made up of 8 producer countries at the time of its creation. There are now 44 countries with Ireland for which the focus and the interests concerning this important economic sector sometimes vary. International trade has developed considerably making it crucial for the OIV to take into account these new challenges by adopting a balanced approach between members.
- December 1997 :
- Adoption of the COMEX 2/97 resolution by the General Assembly concerned with proceeding with adapting the missions and the means of the OIV and creating a « Review Committee » responsible to the Executive Committee and the General Assembly and the follow up of consultancy work .
- March 1998 :
- Setting up the make up of the "Review committee": one representative of Germany, Argentina, Australia, Spain, the United States, France, Italy, Morocco, Romania, United Kingdom, Ukraine, and Mexico, in addition to the President, the Vice-presidents and the Director General.
- Choice of the Consultancy firm: Arthur Andersen for a 12-month study mission, assistance and presentation.
- September 1998 /July 1999 :
- Six "Review Committee" meetings with the Arthur Andersen firm for writing up recommendations.
- July 1999 :
- Presentation of recommendations formulated by the Arthur Anderson firm to the General Assembly in Mainz (Germany).
- End of July 1999 and December 1999 :
- Two consultations of state members on two successive meetings on presentations of preliminary projects for a revision agreement of the International Arrangement of 29 November 1924.
- 5 November 1999 :
- Decision of the Extraordinary General Assembly of the OIV to ask the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs to call for an International Conference of member states in accordance with Article 7 of the International Arrangement of 29 November 1924;
- 14, 15 and 22 June 2000 :
- Three successive meeting sessions of the International Conference of member states ;
- 3 April 2001:
- 4th session of the Conference and the accord of the member countries on the final text of the international agreement establishing the "International Organisation of Vine and Wine".
- 31 July 2001 :
- Deadline for the signature of the new agreement by OIV member countries.
The Agreement was a success and was signed by the following duly authorised representatives of 35 countries: Republic of Algeria, Federal Republic of Germany, Republic of Argentina, Australia, Republic of Austria, Republic of Bolivia, Federal Republic of Brazil, Republic of Chile, Republic of Cyprus, Kingdom of Denmark, Kingdom of Spain, Republic of Finland, Republic of France, Republic of Georgia, United Kingdom, Hellenic Republic, Republic of Hungary, State of Israel, Republic of Italy, Republic of Lebanon, Grand Duchy of Luxemburg, United Mexican States, Republic of Moldavia, Kingdom of Norway, New Zealand, Kingdom of the Netherlands, Republic of Portugal, Romania, Republic of Slovakia, Kingdom of Sweden, Swiss Confederation, Czech Republic, Republic of Tunisia, Republic of Turkey, Eastern Republic of Uruguay.