On Thursday 16 February, two Frenchmen have “obtained the leek” that is to say have entered the Order of Agricultural Merit, Gabriel Chaise and Dominique Portet. The ministerial order of agricultural merit was created on July 7, 1883 by Minister Jules Méline to reward services to agriculture. It reports to the Minister for Agriculture and Food Sovereignty.
Gabriel Chaise, the founder of Cerbaco, has strongly contributed to promoting French spirits and liqueurs, in particular Armagnac, to operators and restaurateurs of Australian gastronomy. His activity, at the crossroads of personal passion and far-sightedness of economic opportunities, has opened up opportunities for French exporters, a source of economic performance and cultural influence for the France.
Dominique Portet has strongly contributed to the reputation of French winemaking practices and equipment, by the production of Australian wine of high quality internationally recognized, mobilizing production practices inspired by Bordeaux and Champagne. He has also had an important personal role as a sponsor, in the French wine network abroad, and as a trainer, welcoming French winegrowers in training courses.
This Master of Ceremony, Serge Thomann, is one of the Councillors to the French Living Abroad in Australia. The opening speech was given by Vincent Hebrail, Agricultural Counsellor to the French embassy in Canberra. The Honorary Consul of Melbourne, Myriam Boisbouvier-Wylie, gave a speech in honour of each of the recipients and bestowed their medals of Knights of the Order.
A large number of family and friends gathered at this convivial evening to celebrate Dominique and Gabriel’s achievements.