Paris might not be famous for producing any wines of its own, but it has always been a magnet for wine lovers all over the world looking to experience the best French wine in some of the most iconic and romantic brasseries, bars and restaurants in the world. It’s appropriate, therefore, it should have a major wine fair of its own. Building on the success of last year’s VinoVision is February’s inaugural Wine Paris event. Show organiser Pascale Ferranti explains what international buyers can expect.
Paris always draws big crowds in February and Wine Paris provides the perfect opportunity for the international wine trade to gather and enjoy the best of not just French Mediterranean and cool climate wines, but also the chance to try similar styles from around the world.
Can you tell us something to the background of Comexposium and the Adhesion Group?
The Comexposium Group is the world’s third largest event organisers with a strong foothold in food and wine. Its 135 B2B and B2C events attract over 48,000 exhibitors and 3.5 million visitors per year in 30 countries across different sectors. We are particularly strong in agriculture, construction, fashion, food, health, leisure, real estate, retail, security, students, tourism, and works council. You can find our more about how we have developed as a business here.
Adhesion Group, a subsidiary of Comexposium since October 2017, is the leading organiser of targeted, high end B2B events in the wine and spirits sector. Adhesion Group owns Vinisud and Vinovision Paris and four business conventions: WWM World Wine Meetings in Paris, Singapore, Chicago and San Francisco.
When Comexposium acquired Adhesion, they also acquired their 74% stake in World Bulk Wine Exhibition. Comexposium also completed a transaction to acquire 16% stake of World Bulk Wine Exhibition from Pomona Keepers S.L. to own a 90% stake of the event.
You were running Vinisud and VinoVision as separate events. Why bring them together?
The acquisition of Adhesion Group and therefore Vinisud by Comexposium opened the way to bringing it together with VinoVision. Wine Paris meets the needs of buyers worldwide for a truly comprehensive exhibition at the optimal time for buyers to taste the new Northern Hemisphere vintage. It was also deemed strategic to have both shows in Paris.
Paris is ideal for business, being less than two hours away from all European capitals and easily accessible from the rest of the world, and a vibrant wine city with the highest wine consumption worldwide (589 million cases per year) and an unmatched wine offer through hundreds of restaurants, wine bars and independent wine merchants. We’re looking forwards to Paris being the world epicentre of wine for the first time ever.
Is there still going to be a specific focus on cool climate wines as with VinoVision in the past?
VinoVision’s identity as the international cool climate wines exhibition remains unchanged. The segmentation of the wine offer in cool climate and Mediterranean climate wines is actually one of Wine Paris’ USP.
What do you hope Wine Paris’ unique selling point is to buyers looking to attend over other major international trade shows?
I’ll quote our two presidents to answer your question. First Fabrice Rieu, president of Vinisud: “Wine Paris takes its roots in the heart of the terroirs and will allow buyers to rediscover the specificities of each vineyard within a 100% business event at a key moment in the purchase schedules.”
And now Pierre Clément, president of VinoVision Paris: “The world of trade shows has changed considerably, the choice of a large gathering in Paris in a collective approach has become necessary to meet the demand of our French and international customers.”
In short, Wine Paris offers a great timing, a unique location and a fabulous diversity of exhibitors to its visitors.
What has been the reaction like amongst producers and exhibitors taking part?
Not only have producers and exhibitors been delighted with the advent of Wine Paris but you could say they have been the driving force behind the event as Wine Paris was created with the support of most French wine marketing boards. Wine Paris is very much a collective event supported by the whole of the wine profession and bringing together a variety of both Mediterranean and cool climate wines.
What has been the reaction like from buyers and visitors?
So far we are on target to reach 25,000 visitors, 35% of them from outside France, which demonstrate a high level of interest in Wine Paris from buyers and visitors.
Will the shows run as two separate shows within Wine Paris or will all the stands be together?
The identities of Vinisud and VinoVision have been preserved under the Wine Paris umbrella brand. The floor plan is arranged by regions of production, according to area of production, either cool climate wines or Mediterranean climate wines. The aim is to offer visitors the best and the most practical visit experience.
What highlights can you pick out in terms of masterclasses and special events at the show?
We offer 30 masterclasses and seminars and may free pour tastings over three days, enough to satisfy the most engaged and curious visitors. As organisers, we can’t favour one over the other, but feel free to browse our programme online.
Can you give specific reasons why buyers from the UK should attend the event?
Buyers from the UK will meet an unparalleled selection of French producers at Wine Paris, some of them too small to exhibit abroad. There will be lots of undiscovered gems at the show. It is easy to get to Paris from London on Eurostar and the timing of the show is ideal for buyers’ calendar.
You also have countries from outside France taking part. How do you decide which countries/producers to include?
Wine Paris is open to producers from all wine producing countries and we intend to build on the diversity of this inaugural show in subsequent years. Our ultimate goal is to ensure representation from every single wine producing region worldwide.
NB: The Wine Paris event will also include a series of masterclasses hosted by the Institute of Masters of Wine. These include:
* Rebecca Gibb MW : “Is France still number one in the world of Sauvignon Blanc?”
* Jean K Reilly MW: “Malbec, the rediscovery of a popular grape variety!”
* Elizabeth Gabay MW: “Does rosé still have the ability to surprise?”