Now there is much more to do than just 10 things at next week’s Vinexpo Bordeaux but with one less day to do all it in then here’s a useful guide to what we think are the most interesting seminars, debates, themes and producers at the show. From conferences covering climate change, Brexit, Big Data and e-commerce, through to new discoveries in Ningxia in China or the chance to taste award winning wines from the top competitions, Vinexpo is back.
If you only get chance to get away from the exhibition floor for a few hours then here are the Top 10 things you need to be looking to do.
This year’s Vinexpo is more of a family estate rather than the people carrier version of previous years having moved to four days from its traditional five. It made the decision to make the show a day smaller following feedback from producers and visitors alike who felt a more concentrated event will mean the last day is more about doing business rather than packing up and heading for home.
Whatever your reasons for wanting to travel and visit Vinexpo we are all ultimately there to do the same thing. Find out what the latest global issues are for wine, talk about it, share ideas, look for solutions and for those of you directly involved in making, marketing or buying wine, then doing some business as well.
To achieve even half of that involves getting off the exhibition floor itself and out in to the seminar and debating rooms where you can hear world wine experts on key issues sharing their ideas and looking at how the trade can work together more effectively in a whole range of ways.
Here’s just 10 to get you started:
1 Climate Change: the first day will put arguably the biggest overall issue facing the global industry in its rightful place on the centre stage. Leading figures from both inside and outside wine will be looking at the latest research and highlighting areas of key concern for the wine industry. It will include: John P. Holdren, former senior advisor to President Barack Obama, Harvard physicist, and a leading international expert on energy and climate change; Miguel A. Torres Sr, president and managing director of Bodegas Torres in Pacs del Penedes, Spain; Gaia Gaja, co-owner of Gaja Winery in Barbaresco, Italy; and Kathryn Hall, former US Ambassador, international trade advisor and proprietor of Napa Valley’s Hall Vineyards – one of the world’s only LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) gold-certified wineries. Read more here. June 18, 3pm-5pm.
2 Brexit: The shock UK General Election has raised further questions about what sort of Brexit we might now end up with. But regardless of whether it is a hard, soft, or part boiled one, the UK is on course to leave the EU in March 2019. This debate includes two of the UK’s leading trade figures who can give the political and lobbying position with Miles Beale, chief executive of the Wine & Spirit Trade Association, Andrew Shaw, group wine buyer for Conviviality and then representing the interests of global producers is Jean Marie Barillère, president of the Union of Maison de Champagne and vice president of the Comité Champagne. With leading wine critic, Jane Anson, taking up the referee’s whistle in the moderating chair. Read more here. June 20, 4pm-5.30pm.
3 Big Data is another big theme at this year’s show with a set conference on the steps needed to take to try and tackle it. Lei Zhao, general manger of Tmall Food, part of Alibaba, and Ada Xu-Fanouillere, international business development manager, Alibaba France, will look at how the world’s biggest e-commerce retailer operates and serves what are 454 million annual active buyers and 507 million mobile monthly active users on its platform in China. June 19, 12.30pm-2pm in Room 6.
4 E-commece: Then a further session will look at what will drive future growth in online wine sales? This will include talks from KEDGE Business School, Rayon Boissons, Wine.com, Cdiscount, Vente-privée, Le Petit Ballon, GS1 France and Alibaba. June 21, 10am-11.30am.
5 Spain: As Spain is the highlighted country at this year’s Vinexpo there will be a session dedicated to looking at the opportunities for its wines in key export markets around the world. Moderated by Robert Joseph (The Wine Thinker), the roundtable discussion will bring together leading market players: David Trone (Total Wine&More), Rafael de Rey (OeMv), Pedro Ballesteros MW and David Pedrol (WinetoBe). June 19, 3pm-4.30pm.
There are also a host of other Spanish events throughout the show including tastings and masterclasses, like Pedro Ballestersos MW, on Spain’s different climates on June 18, 12.30pm to 2pm.
There is also a dedicated “Taste of Spain” event at the Palais de al Bourse which will see a celebration of Spanish food and wine thanks to acclaimed chefs such as Ferran Adria and José Andrés. June 19, from 8pm. For all Spanish activity at Vinexpo click here.
6 WOW! There is for the first time a dedicated area just for organic and biodynamic wines – or World of Organic Wines: Wow! This open tasting will be all four days of the show with an expected 200 producers expected to take part.
7 One to Wine Meetings. Let Vinexpo take the strain off trying to organise meetings with key buyers and suppliers in new markets. Simply register your interests, what type of business you are looking to hook up with and Vinexpo can make the arrangements for you. Sounds too good to be true doesn’t it. Each meeting takes place on exhibitors stands and lasts for 45 minutes. Find out more here.
8 Riesling: June 20 marks the first Riesling Day event to be held at Vinexpo as part of a week of activity. There will be a series of masterclasses and tastings including a tasting featuring five Masters of Wine who will share their thoughts on Riesling from France, Germany, US, Australia and Austria. It includes chair Debra Meiburg MW and features Gerard Basset MW, Markus del Monego MW, Roman Horvath MW, Justin Howard-Sneyd MW and Matthew Deller MW. June 20, 10am-11.30am, Room 1.
You can also taste and take part in a number of daily tastings and masterclasses taking part on Wines of Germany stand (Hall 1, Stand BD 308).
8 Ningxia China. If you are interested in Chinese wine and the developments being made in the winemaking there then there is the chance to see 20 different producers from this key emerging wine region.
10 Vinexpo Challenge Jon Arvid Rosengren, who was named world’s best sommelier in 2016, and Guillaume Deglise, chief executive of Vinexpo, will host a special masterclass which tests the blind-tasting skills of leading wine figures. They will be each served 10 wines from chosen producers at Vinexpo and asked to identify the grape variety, the characteristics of the terroir and likely vintage. Rosengren will attempt to do the same! June 21, 11am-12.30pm, Room 1.
- To find out more about special events and tastings at Vinexpo check out its main events calendar here.