Vinexpo to go to Sonoma in 2018

12th September, 2017 by Patrick Schmitt

It was announced today that Vinexpo will be taking up to 100 wine buyers from around the world to Sonoma County for the second edition of the Vinexpo Explorer initiative.

Vinexpo Explorer will go to the US next year where the Sonoma County Vintners will host up to 100 wine buyers

The news was revealed this morning to press at the Orangerie in Vienna’s Schloss Schönbrunn, the location of the inaugural Vinexpo Explorer.

Having told a small group of press about the decision to go to California in 2018, CEO of Vinexpo, Guillaume Deglise said that he felt it was important to go beyond Europe for the next Vinexpo Explorer.

“Our idea was to start with a European country for logistical reasons and Austria was my first choice, but then we wanted the challenge of an overseas destination, we want to go to the New World,” he said.

Continuing, he said, “It is a way for us to show to the buyers that this is a serious thing, it is not a European initiative, it is a worldwide one – Vinexpo Explorer can go almost anywhere.”

Nevertheless, he said that only certain regions were suitable for the concept.

“Vinexpo Explorer has to be in a region with lots of potential, and Sonoma County is one of them – they have a very well known neighbour; it is still a place with challenges,” he commented, referring to the superior fame of the Napa Valley.

He then added, “The potential is there, but I’m pretty sure a lot of buyers haven’t had the chance yet to discover Sonoma County.”

Also in attendance at the press conference was Caroline Shaw, who is president of the board of directors for Sonoma County Vintners, and executive vice president at Jackson Family Wines.

Commenting on the decision to become the next host region for the Vinexpo-sourced buyer community, she said the producers of Sonoma County were “very excited” to show their wines to a new international audience.

She also told the drinks business that she saw it as “an opportunity to elevate the Sonoma brand.”

When asked whether Sonoma County Vintners needed to focus on exports when the domestic market was large and growing, she said that developing new markets was undoubtedly important for members of the association.

“There are a lot of small wineries who would like to get into the international marketplace,” she stated.

Continuing, she noted that the major international trade fairs aren’t always effective for niche producers.

“We have producers who have gone to ProWein or Vinexpo and felt a bit lost, they might be sharing a small booth and find it hard to stand out, but now, with Vinexpo Explorer, the buyers will come to their neighbourhood,” she said.

Continuing, she remarked, “If we have the opportunity to show 100 international buyers the wines in our own territory then it is an unsurpassed selling opportunity.”

Summing up, she commented, “We have an expression: ‘rising tides float all boats’, and this will be an opportunity to raise brand Sonoma that will benefit everyone, regardless of their international presence.”

Having flown over to Vienna to observe the inaugural Vinexpo Explorer, she said that “the bar has been set very high, and the hospitality and organisation has been spectacular”, adding, “the producers and the buyers seem so engaged… I can’t imagine anyone leaving here not being a brand ambassador for Austrian wines.”

Like the inaugural Vinexpo Explorer in Vienna, next year’s event in Sonoma will be a two-day experience in September, although it will run slightly later in the month, taking place 23-25 September.

This year’s Vinexpo Explorer resulted from a collobaration between the fair organiser and the Austrian Wine Marketing Board, which was keen for Austria to be the first host-country for this new Vinexpo concept.

3 Responses to “Vinexpo to go to Sonoma in 2018”

  1. Pete Lescure says:

    Congratulations to Sonoma County Vintners & Caroline Shaw for bringing such a notable event to Sonoma County.

  2. Scott Farmer says:

    Fantastic! How do we get information of exhibiting?

  3. David Page says:

    I’m in! Where do I sign up to attend? Dave P, SF Somm

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