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Vinexpo Daily - Review Edition

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EDITORIAL Richard Barnes

EDITORIAL Richard Barnes Editor-in-chief A TIME FOR FEDERATION In his closing remarks after the 2017 edition of Vinexpo Bordeaux, the organisation’s CEO Guillaume Deglise mentioned several aspects of this year’s show that made it stand out from previous ones. But the one that seemed to really underline the sentiment felt throughout the four days of the event was that of “federation”. While some might argue that the key purpose of a trade show is in any case to bring people together, it might seem that the word federation is totally evident and perhaps not even necessary as a descriptive term. But walking the show floor, watching the conference sessions and tastings, witnessing the peripheral events and listening to the banter at the press bar, it became obvious that perhaps now, more than ever, the wine and spirits worlds are coming together as one – not so much in terms of globalisation (although that is true, too), but more in terms of understanding, friendships, partnerships and trust. All those who attended Vinexpo 2017 have grown a little closer together – thanks to Mr Deglise and his team. We look forward to seeing this “big family” again next year – in Hong Kong, New York and Tokyo! VINEXPO: KEY TRENDS IN 2017 Organisation CEO Guillaume Deglise looks back at a great vintage Vinexpo Bordeaux closed its gates on the evening of Wednesday 21 st June after four days of intense meetings and tastings. 2,300 exhibitors from 40 countries took advantage of the international wine and spirits show to meet buyers, sign contracts, discover new developments and develop their business networks. We asked Vinexpo CEO Guillaume Deglise what he saw as being the key trends as this year’s show. Three strong trends stand out. The first is the quality of visitors and the strong presence of international decision-makers, noticeable by the quality of the exhibitors and amplified by the service of the oneto-wine meetings set up by Vinexpo. Well over 2,000 appointments, planned in advance, were targeted, constructive and allowed participants to sign numerous distribution contracts. Our goal was to further strengthen the qualitative positioning of our visitors, and I can say today that we won our bet. This required a thorough fieldwork, we went to meet the buyers on the different markets, we invested in communication on the key markets and we strengthened the checking process for accreditations. In the months preceding the show, we went out to meet the buyers in Asia, the USA, Northern Europe and so on. It’s just the beginning in our efforts to propose supplementary services, which is one of our primary objectives henceforth. Vinexpo no longer situates itself simply as a simple “trade show organiser”. We have a bigger role to play in the overall process, which is to assist our exhibitors to find new markets and clients. Buyers from more than 150 countries showed that the distribution stemming from the show is now planetary and that the Vinexpo brand remains the global benchmark for finding new markets and expanding its network. France remains the first visitor country, followed by China and the United States. The signing during the show of the partnership between Vinexpo and (Alibaba group) will strengthen Vinexpo’s position in China and enable it to develop its reputation throughout this vast territory. It gives a real boost to the show and indeed to the Vinexpo brand. It will give us much more visibility in China. It will also enable Alibaba to inform professionals and consumers about the wine festival they plan to launch on 9th September each year. France will be the country of honour this year. 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@ Jean-Bernard Nadeau Guillaume Deglise CEO, Vinexpo QUESTION MARK OVER SHOW DATE Guillaume Deglise announced that the date of the next show in Bordeaux in two years’ time may well not be in June. The launch of Vinexpo New York in March 2018 will also help to develop Vinexpo’s attractiveness to Americans. The American distribution scenario is changing, and this will create numerous opportunities for exhibitors in what remains the number one marketplace in the world. China and the USA are markets that are in constant progression, so it’s normal that we have seen an increase in buyers coming from these places, while in Europe, where the market is mature, and the consumption levels are not rising overall, there is a very strong interest for innovation and new trends. The second trend was Vinexpo’s capacity as a “federator” for all players in the market. Major international brands, family companies, small winegrowers and regional or national pavilions were widely represented and all expressed their enthusiasm. This year, our decision to create a new offering to smaller-scale producers – with six square metre booths in Hall 3 – met with great success. It’s a sign of the times, as many international buyers are looking for smaller “niche” suppliers, and that’s what we brought to the show this year. The grouping of producers allowed professional visitors to rediscover the Tre Bicchieri of the Gambero Rosso guide, to taste the 2016 vintage of the Union of the Grands Crus of Bordeaux or the Rieslings from Germany to Australia. BY ORGANISING CONFERENCES ON THE IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON VITICULTURE, ISSUES RELATED TO BREXIT OR THE GROWING WEIGHT OF E-COMMERCE, VINEXPO DEMONSTRATED ITS COMMITMENT TO ITS CLIENTS TO RESPOND TO THE MAJOR TOPICAL POLICY ISSUES. The Institute of Masters of Wine was more present than ever as well as the representatives of world gastronomy through famous chefs and sommeliers. Vinexpo has also managed to surround itself with the great specialists, such as Michel Bettane and Thierry Desseauve, to develop a new and more open offer for niche products, and key media such as Wine Spectator, Terre de vins, the Drinks Business or la Revue du Vin de France. This “federation” also applies to an approach that was better adapted to the different needs of exhibitors today. The new space dedicated to organic wines, WOW! (World of organic wines) is a perfect example, and its success exceeds our expectations. The tastings, each as interesting and rewarding as the other, were another way of federating people at the Vinexpo academy and on the stands. The third key trend is the successful promise of information rich content. By organising conferences on the impact of climate change on viticulture, issues related to Brexit or the growing weight of e-commerce, Vinexpo demonstrated its commitment to its clients to respond to the major topical policy issues. The programme was particularly rich this year. The Riesling day allowed us to focus on this international grape variety on Tuesday, June 20th. Five masters of wine gave their views on French, German, American, Australian and Austrian Rieslings. Hall Three was a big success, as we decided to place as many “novelties” as possible this year, along with most of the major conferences and tastings, and it was a wager that paid off. You may remember that two years ago, most of the conferences were held at the convention centre on the other side of the lake. With this year’s hot weather, it was a very good thing that the conference-goers be able COUNTRY OF HONOUR 2017 to stay within the halls! • SPAIN – This year, we had extreme conditions that were difficult for everyone. The air conditioning held out nevertheless, but it wasn’t easy, and due to this, I believe we will have to change the date for the next edition. We will be examining the question, with the aim of finding a date that will enable exhibitors and visitors to work in more pleasant conditions. This decision will be taken in concert with the management of the Parc des Expositions and the city council. We will be making an announcement in the next months as to the date that will be agreed upon for the next edition. I think it was a smart move for Vinexpo to have a country of honour of that size, and the quality of the events that were organised was exceptional. The highlight was “A Taste of Spain” held on Monday night – with more than 1,300 attendees – and 110 bodegas. We had all the top Spanish producers there on that evening. I believe it was the best event on Spanish wines that has ever been organised outside of Spain, and this is what we really hoped to achieve. VINEXPO DAILY / REVIEW EDITION / FRIDAY 30 TH JUNE 3