There was a renewed confidence among wine and spirits professionals at Vinexpo 2015, held in Bordeaux from 14 to 18 June.
Exhibitor confidence was boosted by the long-awaited recovery of the Chinese market after two years of decline, as well as the presence of American buyers. The US was the guest of honour at this 18th edition, and buyers flocked to Bordeaux, encouraged by favourable EUR-USD exchange rates and an upturn in American consumption.
In fact, there was a general sense of optimism among all participants at this year’s edition, which had been given a complete revamp. The new Vinexpo team knew that expectations were high. They responded by offering new services and stimulating business with innovations such as a new layout facing the lake, a focus on wine and food pairing, an impressive programme of talks and networking events.
Business meetings were reinforced by the launch of One2Wine, a new matchmaking service for exhibitors and buyers, which resulted in more than 1,000 meetings on the stands.
“We had very high expectations before coming to Vinexpo 2015. Throughout the show, we remained most impressed by the high quality of our meetings and tastings with trade & media from every key global market,” said Peter Gago, a renowned winemaker from Penfolds Winery (Australia).
Attendance figures were stable in comparison to the 2013 edition, with 48,500 visitors. However, the visitor profile was more professional and international than at previous editions. The show was attended by 151 nationalities, with a noticeable increase in visitors from China (+14%), Japan (+5%), the US (+15%), Africa (+18%), Oceania (+28%) and Southern Europe (+7%).
In an increasingly global marketplace, Vinexpo is THE international industry event, and an ideal platform for companies seeking to develop their sales in overseas markets.
“Vinexpo 2015 will be remembered as an excellent vintage for Gérard Bertrand. The quality of the buyers we met opened up 20 new markets for us across the world, and also gave us an opportunity to market the new vintage of Clos d’Ora,” said Gérard Bertrand, president of Gérard Bertrand wines.
By contrast, the current crisis affecting European markets resulted in lower visitor numbers from France (-2%), Germany (-8%), Benelux (-12%) and the UK (-2%). Guillaume Deglise, Vinexpo’s CEO, pointed out, “The 2015 edition is just one step for Vinexpo. We will redouble our efforts to attract professionals from all these markets, and we will make the French wine industry proud to host this global meeting.”
The majority of the show’s visitors (64%) still came from France, placing it ahead of China, the US, Spain and the UK.
The organisers of Vinexpo 2015 rose to the challenge of giving the show a fresh momentum and the innovations proved a resounding success.
“Vinexpo presents the best the world has to offer! As producers, we have to share our passion, and there is no shortage of passion here at Vinexpo! I particularly appreciated the quality of the food and wine pairings offered in the restaurants. This is important because, when you taste a good wine, the food needs to live up to it,” stated Lamberto Frescobaldi, CEO of Marchesi di Frescobaldi (Italy).
Among the new initiatives, the programme of talks organised by the show promoted better understanding of how specific markets work. Attendees at the “Inside the US Wine Market” talk, organised in cooperation with US magazine Wine Spectator, were impressed by the quality of the speakers, the subjects addressed and the insights presented. The talk on “Africa, the future destination for wines and spirits”, analysed the wealth of opportunities offered by this high-potential market.
Cecilia Muzzi, export manager at CECCHI (Italy) said, “Exports make up 70% of our business. Our main reason for attending Vinexpo is to sell, but we also want to get a sense of the different markets and how they are evolving, see the latest innovations, discover trends, get to know European producers’ approach to packaging and ranges, and understand which types of wine are successful and why. Vinexpo is a platform for exchanging ideas and sharing our vision for the sector today and in the future.”
The profession of sommelier was in the spotlight at this 2015 edition, in particular with the finals of the Best Young Sommelier in France competition, the General Assembly of the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale (ASI), a tasting led by Paz Levinson, recent winner of Best Sommelier of the Americas and a series of food and wine pairing workshops. Vinexpo also announced that it is a contender for the organisation of the Best Sommelier in the World award, in partnership with L’Association française de sommellerie, in 2019.
“Sommelier training is both demanding and multi-faceted. As well as wines, we need to know about gastronomy and the art of serving a demanding clientele. Vinexpo offers sommeliers a chance to sample everything the world has to offer, from the best wines to the most accessible, while also developing our knowledge and business networks,” says Paolo Basso, winner of the Best Sommelier in the World award in 2013.
The #DigiZone space was another flagship innovation, welcoming bloggers and web influencers who exchanged information on new technologies, communication media and unusual grape varieties Vinexpo’s global digital strategy is emblematic of the show’s dynamic approach.
In the words of Luc Canut, founder and director of the Monette digital communications agency, “The #DigiZone space was both welcoming and very useful as a networking platform for a busy, dynamic community. It tackled diverse and extremely relevant themes.”
New 4-day format for Vinexpo Bordeaux
The organisers announced that, as of the 2017 edition, Vinexpo will have a new format lasting 4 days. This will ensure that the show will better meet the needs of professionals who want to make the most of their visit with a more intense and efficient approach.
2016: Vinexpo in Asia
Vinexpo Hong Kong will take place from 24 to 26 May 2016 and Vinexpo Tokyo will be held from 15 to 16 November 2016.
Vinexpo is the leading international exhibition for the wine and spirits sector. It is a biennial trade show held in Bordeaux. The 2015 edition welcomed 48,500 professional visitors from 151 countries and 2,350 exhibitors representing 42 producing countries.
Vinexpo Overseas, a Vinexpo subsidiary, organises shows in high-potential markets around the world. Vinexpo Hong Kong which takes place every other year has become a key trade show in the Asian market. In 2014 the first Japanese edition of Vinexpo Tokyo was a huge success. In 2016 it will be held from November 15 to 16.