Vinexpo Daily - Day 5

  • Vinexpo
  • Wines
  • Bordeaux
  • Cognac
  • Products
  • Publication
  • Producers
  • Burgundy
  • Hine
  • Irish

TRADE TALK Keeping an

TRADE TALK Keeping an Eye on Key Trends An UAE-based importer and wholesaler gives her impressions of Vinexpo Nickie Tilbury is an Importer – Wholesaler for African and Eastern Dubai - UAE. We asked her why she attends Vinexpo… Aside from the opportunity to meet with existing partners, Vinexpo is a fantastic opportunity to look for potential new producers for our market, taste a really wide range of wines and see if there are any new trends on the horizon. What kind of products are you expecting to find or looking forward to discover? I travel to Vinexpo with no preconceptions of what I will find. The joy of attending such a large wine exhibition is the sheer number of exhibitors that are present, so I have left time in my diary to walk around and see what catches my eye. How do you evaluate the current state of the wine and spirits market in your country? Being based in Dubai, we are obviously affected strongly by external factors due to the large number of visitors that come through the UAE each year. Therefore, we are impacted by issues such as the Russian rouble and the Euro currency exchange rate. In terms of trends, consumers want value for money, but also recognised varietals or brand names to help give them confidence when making their wine selection. Liquor is a relatively expensive product in our market, so confidence in what they are buying is a key point for consumers. Which producer region/ country/ category should one keep an eye on? There are so many different wineproducing regions and producers that it isn’t possible to name just one which should be monitored more carefully than others. From a personal perspective, coming from the UK I am watching to see what happens with English wine. There is a lot of press about it right now and last year was fantastic vintage, but I want to see how it progresses long-term. What is your best ever Vinexpo memory? It has to be 2003, the first one I ever attended. Aside from the heat, traffic and problems with the mobile signal, it was an amazing experience. I remember drinking Domaines Ott Château de Selle Rosé in the centre of Bordeaux on a beautifully warm evening, attending a Château dinner another night during a huge storm with the water rolling down the stones towards the underground cellar where we were dining, and sitting outside La Tupina as the wind blew down the street threatening another storm. The exhibition was the largest I had been to, and I walked end to end every day meeting with producers, some of whom I am meeting again this year. What is your “secret” to a successful Vinexpo visit? Comfortable shoes, trying to have at least one night with a reasonable amount of sleep, and drinking lots of water! Nickie Tilbury Importer – Wholesaler for African and Eastern Dubai - UAE VINEXPO IS A FANTASTIC OPPORTUNITY TO LOOK FOR POTENTIAL NEW PRODUCERS FOR OUR MARKET PRESS CORNER Sascha Speicher Editor-in-Chief, Meiningers sommelier MEDIA – THE GERMAN PERSPECTIVE Meininger Publications is a leading publishing group for professional wine titles in German language. Sascha Speicher is, as chief-editor in charge of Meiningers sommelier, “magazine for fine wining” in the top-gastronomy and the CHAMPAGNE MAGAZIN. He also takes care of the French, Austrian and South African wines for the trade magazine WEINWIRTSCHAFT since 15 years. We asked Sascha what he is primarily looking for at Vinexpo… Of cause I am looking for news in the French wine world, but most important is the networking with the most important wine-producers. To taste the new vintages and speak about new projects … Which regions / varieties do you personally feel are gaining most in popularity in the region served by your publication? The Rhone valley, Languedoc-Roussillon and Champagne. High potential lies in the sommeliersegment for the Loire Valley, Burgundy and Provence. In the long-term, also Bordeaux, and for specialized wine trade also the South West. What have you been most looking forward to at the show? Nice tastings at the show, an exchange about our projects like SOMMELIER SUMMIT, and of course the wonderful evening events at the Châteaux. 8 VINEXPO DAILY / DAY 5 / THURSDAY 18 TH JUNE 2015

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW Cognac: a Question of Education Understanding the nuances of Cognac, one doesn’t need to be Einstein, but imagination is important… François Le Grelle Managing Director, Cognac Hine WE PAY GREAT ATTENTION TO OUR RAW MATERIALS TO BE SURE THAT THE QUALITY WE OBTAIN WILL ENABLE BLENDS THAT WILL BE “SEDUCTIVE” AND “HARMONIOUS”. The blending of a Cognac is often said to be equivalent to the creation of a work of art. This being so, we asked François Le Grelle, Managing Director, Cognac Thomas Hine, what role the education of buyers plays in his marketing… It depends on which market you’re talking about! The concept of blending is at the heart of any Cognac, which explains why you find very few specific vintages as opposed to, say, whisky. There are, however, a rare few brands that do vintages, and Hine is one of them. What is important in the blend is the selection of wines and the process of distillation. If a wine is not good, there is no way the distillation will be able to improve its quality. The wine must be excellent and the distillation excellent, in order to create an excellent eau de vie. In this respect, at Hine, we pay great attention to our raw materials to be sure that the quality we obtain will enable blends that will be “seductive” and “harmonious”. The blend will then evolve over time. The aging relates to the time it is left in the cask, and this has to be controlled, because we do not want too much wood. We keep our young eaux de vie – just blended – in new casks for a period of nine months, in such a way as to avoid a predominance of wood on the eaux de vie, keeping in mind the fact that our eaux de vie come almost exclusively from Grande and Petite Champagne giving fruity, fresh, floral notes, instilling a certain delicacy that we want to preserve. Consequently, we need to diminish the impact that the wood might otherwise have, so that this floral, fruity expression remains over time. In the end, you will have eaux de vie that are light in colour, because the wood will not have given so much impact, as can be the case in other Cognacs. We will have something that is much lighter in colour, which can occasionally be problematic, because in some countries, buyers still sometimes believe that the darker it is, the better it is, and this is indeed where education is required. On the other hand we find connoisseurs in the mature markets, in Europe, and in particular in the UK. In all the ex-Soviet countries there is also an excellent knowledge of these products that could be described as fine and complete. The vulgarisation of these processes is important in other markets to explain to people why we are different, and why each Cognac is unique and individual. In that sense, we can’t say one Cognac is better than the other. Do the English roots of the House change something? Yes indeed. The House of Hine has always sought to be exceptional and has never sought to go for volume. One of our particularities has been that the UK market has thus always been very important for us. Barrels were delivered directly to England and the bottling took place at a much later date in situ. The storage conditions are very different in London – much cooler and damper, and this has a marked effect on the barrel, and consequently on the eau de vie. It thus in a sense became an “English Cognac”, as it was aged in London. The flavour is quite different. We still age some barrels in England as the technique is at the heart of our brand. What’s new at Vinexpo? Visitors will be able to discover, for the first time, our Domaine de Bonneuil (2005), which we launched just some months ago. This single estate, single harvest Cognac is quite unique in a milieu where blending is prevalent. As a faithful exhibitor, what do you see as being the value of the fair? Our distributors come regularly to Vinexpo, and the fact of seeing Hine not only reassures them, but also enables us to meet them in a professional setting, but also to see new faces, as well as a number of colleagues. In that sense we are pleased to see a growing number of small exhibitors, who each have their individual values, and are able to put forward their know how and show that it’s not just the big groups that are able to offer quality product and a guarantee of satisfaction. We are “part of the landscape” and are pleased to demonstrate that products like ours can be greatly appreciated beyond French shores. VINEXPO DAILY / DAY 5 / THURSDAY 18 TH JUNE 2015 9

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