In 1962, the constantly growing need for contacts between the categories in the different countries, an awareness of the role played by the winemaker and the importance of the sector as a result of the constant improvements and progress being made, led Gabriel Humeau, chairman of the French Union of Winemakers, to assess the possibility of bringing the various associations of winemakers and specialists in the wine sector in general into a single international body. The notion was highly attractive to Antonio Carpenè, chairman of the Italian Association of Winemakers, who immediately declared himself willing to assist in the setting up of the body in question.
The plan for the setting up of the Union Internationale des Œnologues was presented and discussed during two meetings held in Narbonne and Madrid in 1964, in the presence of the delegates from Argentina, Chile, Spain, the USA, France, Italy and Portugal. It was during these meetings that the deed of establishment and the operating programme for the new organisation were drawn up.
The Union Internationale des Œnologues was founded in Milan on 24th April 1965, following approval of the organisational charter. The founding associations were those of Argentina, Chile, Spain, France, Italy and Portugal. Gabriel Humeau was elected chairman and Antonio Carpené vice-chairman, and Louis Albalate from Spain was appointed secretary general.
The headquarters of the U.I.Œ. were established in Paris, with two branch offices in Madrid and Milan. The objectives were those which remain virtually unchanged in the organisational charter today, which are as valid today as ever.
The Union Internationale des Œnologues currently brings together sixteen national associations, those of Argentina, Austria, Canada, Croatia, Brazil, Chile, France, Germany, Greece, Japan, Italy, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Portugal and Uruguay.