First Vinexpo Explorer opens ‘new approach to networking’

The inaugural Vinexpo Explorer, a new concept combining business and tastings, has been hailed as a success.

Held in Vienna from 11-12 September, the event saw 90 buyers from a broad cross-section of the international retail market visit the Austrian capital to meet with Austrian producers and taste their wines.

Willi Klinger, managing director of Austrian Wine, commented: “The mere fact that 46 buyers from the Asia-Pacific region, 15 from the Americas and 28 from Europe came here to Austria was already quite an achievement.

“Hearing them talk so enthusiastically after two days of tastings and business meetings shows us that Austrian wines have a real place on the world’s best tables.”

Axel Stiegelmar, owner of Juris, a vineyard in Burgenland, said: “The buyers we meet know they must come to a decision within 30 minutes.

“Coming here saves us a lot of time as we can sell to importers we would otherwise never have met. This morning I broke into two new markets, Thailand and Taiwan, and still have three appointments to come.”

By spending a short but intense two days devoted to one wine region or country, Vinexpo hopes its ‘Explorer’ programme will “pave the way for a new approach to business networking.”

It was announced on the last day of the event that next year’s explorer would take place in Sonoma in late September.

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