1 year ago

The Daily Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris - Review

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  • Vinexpo
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  • February
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I TRADE TALK I Sebastian

I TRADE TALK I Sebastian Braun Wine Director, Oenoforos, Carovin and Vini Buoni. Managing Director, Vintedge Filling the gaps in Sweden's wine range Sebastian Braun is wine director for four companies - Oenoforos, Carovin, Vintedge and Vini Buoni - that import wines into Sweden and sell them to the alcohol retail monopoly, Systembolaget Aktiebolag, which Sebastian used to work for as a buyer. Some of the four companies have additional activities, with Oenoforos, for example, buying wine in bulk and having its own private brands, with some production exported. We asked Sebastian about his work and what were his key objectives at Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris 2022. Mr Maas said: "It's great to be back at Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris 2022 - seeing your international friends for the first time in three years. My last trade show was in 2019 so its a real 'rendez-vous'. Obviously we're really focused on French wines, but the international sections are really interesting as well, so we are also seeing some of our Italian and Portuguese partners as well. Yesterday at the inauguration ceremony, the French Minister of Agriculture and Food referred to 2021 as a 'black year'. What was your experience? It wasn't at all for us, because we were able to adapt to the market. We operate across several channels, so it was easy for us to switch between them. We also invested directly in the market to gain market share and secure our position which then helped us attract new partners and grow accordingly. Have there been any broader repercussions on the market? In terms of wine and harvests, 2021 was more challenging because prices are increasing. We mainly operated in the Dutch market which is a very price sensitive market, so the question is whether consumers in 2022 will accept this increase. Last year when we spent five months in lockdown, we lost a lot of turnover in Horeca - the food services industry including hotels, restaurants and cafés, which was quite challenging, so this year it remains to be seen whether these venues will stay open for 12 months. Therefore, this year is going to be very interesting for us I would say. When you say you've invested in different channels, can you be more specific? We've seen a significant increase in alcohol free, so we acquired a company specialized in alcohol free wines in 2019. That's a growth market for us and we've been growing double digits in that segment. Just before Covid, we also set up a dedicated team for e-commerce, which is a completely different ball game. Importing wines is generally about making exclusivity agreements with geographical areas within countries, but with e-commerce and big players like that has several translated urls, there are no boundaries. That requires you to adapt and have discussions with your suppliers and clients. We rather embrace it rather than fight it. Because every challenge is an opportunity THE SWEDISH MARKET Sweden, a country of 10.3 million people, many affluent by international standards, is an attractive market for overseas wine producers. While there are hundreds of registered wine importers selling to the monopoly, most of the market is accounted for by the top 20 or so importers. Among alcoholic beverages, wine and spirits are in second place behind only beer, with wine imports valued at about €790 million in 2020, a figure that is more than 10% higher than that of just two years earlier. The country's wine consumers are increasingly focused on premium wines, and - aside from the significant and ever-growing focus on sustainability - wines with lower alcohol content are also increasingly popular. Despite its chilly climate, Sweden is a wine producer, with about 100 to 150 hectares of vineyards, most of them in the south of the country. Typical wine producers in Sweden are small, with between one and 10 hectares each. With winters tending to be milder than they once were, and summers warmer, conditions are becoming more suitable for domestic wine production 8 • THE DAILY • WEDNESDAY 23 RD FEBRUARY 2022

SEEN @ First time at the show for Austrian glassmaker Sophienwald Sophienwald, an Austrian glassmaker that was exhibiting at Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris 2022 for the first time, found the event to be a great forum for developing new contacts. "We have worked very well," said Manni Schwarz, the company's sales and marketing director. "We have had a good international public. It's our first time exhibiting here, and we're very happy, and will be back next time for sure." "We have been to Vinexpo Hong Kong and we like the organisation, which is very good. The people are different here." Schwarz, whose company sells mostly to restaurants, said he had had useful meetings with representatives from Belgium, the Netherlands and Italy, among other countries. Sophienwald was founded in 2014 and produces mouth-blown wine glasses, with total production running at 150,000 glasses per year. "Our processes and methods are very traditional. We produce in wooden moulds like people did 100 years ago. It takes four people to produce around 300 glasses a day," Schwarz explained Maintaining Chile's profile at Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris The pandemic made it harder for producers from Chile to travel to Wine Paris & Vinexpo 2022, but many wines from the South American country nonetheless created a buzz, thanks to the Wines of Chile and ProChile booth. There were no fewer than 22 wines from 11 producers on show, and a masterclass was held on Chilean Carménère wines. "The trade visitors have been very interested in our wines. They wanted to discover things and to speak to our team at the stand, and we have made many new key contacts from across Europe," said Camille Peron, international business consultant for ProChile France. "We wanted to be present as a country. It was important to show our presence and commitment here." According to Anita Jackson, UK director of Wines of Chile, the "quality of visitors was very good" at Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris 2022. "It was an overwhelming relief to be here, and people thoroughly enjoyed being at a trade fair. It was a very worthwhile show to come to," she said, adding that the country hoped to be able to return to having a larger presence at future editions of Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris THE DAILY •WEDNESDAY 23 RD FEBRUARY 2022 • 9

The Daily - Wine Paris / Vinexpo Paris