The countdown has begun to the world’s premier wine & spirits exhibition Vinexpo 2015in Bordeaux, as a brand new format combining business with pleasure is unveiled for the entire industry to gather and network over five days from June 14-18, 2015. More than 2,350 wine exhibitors from 42 countries will converge in Bordeaux for the biannual show.
Under the theme ‘Taste the Unexpected’, the 18thVinexpo introduces a host of innovations described as a “turning point” in the 34 year history of the iconic fair, which will include:
- Ultimate Cocktail Bar ‘SPIRITUAL’ makes French debut
- Les Ateliers:Gault & Millau’s Wine & Food Pairing Workshops
- The all new physical and virtual space for online communicators called the #DigiZone
- The Vinexpo Academy with 90 events from top-flight talks to tastings
- The Blend:Vinexpo networking parties
EXHIBITORS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD
France, the world’s biggest wine producer in 2014 with an annual production of 523 million 12-bottle cases, will have 63% of stand space and will be promoting products from its 17 wine-producing regions, including Bordeaux, Provence, the Loire Valley, Champagne and Burgundy.
Long-time exhibitors Italy and Spain, which with France account for 50% of global production, will also be out in force, showcasing flagship brands as well as presenting new products, including many sparkling wines, for which demand is skyrocketing.
Completing the top-10 exhibitor line-up are Portugal, Chile, Argentina, USA, UK, Germany and South Africa.
Among first-time exhibitors are Latvia, Morocco and Peru, and there will even be a wine producer from Syria. The Napa Valley Vintners association, a heavyweight in the Californian winemaking industry, will have its own stand for the first time and will be hosting talks and tastings.
A wide range of spirits – brandy, vodka, rum, whisky, gin and Armagnac – will feature prominently at Vinexpo. Cachaça, grappa and tequila will also be represented, illustrating the rich diversity of the product offer.
Almost 48,000 visitors are expected at the Bordeaux Exhibition Centre. Altogether, the aisles will be swarming with more than 120 nationalities.
A ‘SPIRITUAL’ EXPERIENCE
The social atmosphere is enhanced with the “ultimate, unrivalled cocktail bar” concept called SPRITUAL that was successfully introduced at last year’s VinexpoAsia-Pacific in Hong Kong.
The complementary cocktail bar now makes its French debut introducing buyers to an unprecedented range of crafted cocktails, aperitifs and long drinks in a vibrant, social ambience – with drinks and cocktails for the first time created by award winning bartenders from the United States Bartenders Guild, who are also presenting master classes in mixology and ‘flair bartending’.
LES ATELIERS: GAULT & MILLAU’S WINE AND FOOD PAIRING WORKSHOPS
Food will play an important role in shows and masterclasses this year, as well as gourmet restaurant partnering with the famous French restaurant ‘le 110 de Taillevent’. Guests can enjoy free corkage at a wide selection of restaurants at Vinexpo.The famous French food guide Gault & Millau organizes a series of wine and food pairing workshops starring duos of renowned chefs and sommeliers.
The masterclasses feature duos of renowned chefs and sommeliers demonstrating how to pair the various textures, flavors and aromas of different wines and foods. They include chefs Arnaud Lallement of top Champagne restaurant l’Assiette Champenoise, Jean-Luc Rocha of Cordeillan-Bages near Bordeaux and Cercle Lynch-Bages director Charles Thuillier.
DigiZone will host short interactive conferences (15 to 20 minutes maximum) on diverse topics. Speakers will include: Dominique Laporte, discussing latest wine applications; Wine Mosaic offering tastings of wines from indigenous grape varieties; Arnaud Daphy/Vinocamp presenting the French vino digital sphere; Greg Lambrecht from Coravin speaking about social media and crisis management; DJ Frédéric Beneix (Wine4Melomanes) and the Grenache association pairing wine and music; Ryan Opaz presenting the Born Digital Wine Awards; Matt Dickinson on the do’s and don’tsof wine, video and social networks; and Napa Valley Vintners organising a Taste N Tweet session.
THE VINEXPO ACADEMY
The Vinexpo Academy is meanwhile organising nearly 90 special events from top-flight talks to tastings with internationally renowned sommeliers, oenologists, economists and entrepreneurs.
Tastings of wines from around the globe are a chance to learn more about wines from Georgia and China, Japanese sakes, and regions such as Alsace, Provence, Tuscany, the Douro, Burgundy, Napa Valley and Bordeaux. These masterclasses will include organic wine tastings and a blind tasting led by Paolo Basso, voted the world’s best sommelier in 2013.
Talks will focus on subjects as diverse as “Inside the US wine market”, moderated by Thomas Matthews, editor of Wine Spectator, with key players such as Annette Alvarez from Costco, Mel Dick from Southern Wine and Spirits of America, Helen Mackey from Ruth’s Chris Steak Houses, Michael Mondavi from Folio Fine Wine Partners, Stephen Rust from Diageo Chateau & Estate, and David Trone from Total Wine & More discussing the market’s prospects with ideas on strategies for entering it.
The African market will also be the topic of a major talk by experts from this part of the globe, including Pierre Castel.
THE BLEND, VINEXPO’S NETWORKING PARTIES
Networking parties called The Blend are being held every night from 10:00pm-2:00am at Hangar 14 overlooking the Garonne River, exclusively for professionals at the tradeshow to taste, chat, relax and dance. Each night, the loungy, jazzy wine bar will present some 50 different wine regions, from Alsace and Georgia to Italy and Spain, with a Champagne bar serving a different Champagne brand each night, from Champagne Besserat de Bellefon and Champagne Lanson to Champagne Tsarine and its beautiful ambassador, French actress and model Adriana Karembeu.
Heineken will also be sponsoring beer in their brand-new aluminium bottles designed by French celebrity designer Philippe Starck. The entry pass is just 90€ for the whole week, or 35€ a night on www.theblend.fr.