WBWE: Bulk wine sector has taken ‘huge leap’ in past decade

The World Bulk Wine Exhibition (WBWE) will take up residence in Amsterdam for its 10th edition in November, marking a decade of “strengthening and renovating” the image of bulk wine.

Officials at the 9th WBWE in 2017

“The biggest revolution that we have experienced over these past ten years and is still going on is that of quality,” said Otilia Romero de Condés, CEO of the WBWE, speaking to the drinks business.

“A growing belief is that all wine is bulk wine; wine has ceased to be produced thinking whether it is going to be bottled on-site or in destination. The quality of wines which are commercialized in bulk –both if their destiny is a blending or the bottling – is astonishing, and the best thing is that it continues to grow each year.”

Since the show’s inception, the bulk wine industry has grown from producing 30 million hectolitres, to 38 million hectolitres, with the industry now worth almost €30 million.

“When the WBWE was created, it represented a revolution in itself,” she added. “A gathering for professionals focused on business and with the goal of bringing to light the bulk wine sector, of enhancing its prestige, creating a transparent business network at a global scale, opening the debate with top-level professionals, and of creating and anticipating trends.

“All this was a hard and slow process, thus, 10 years later, if we analyse the huge leap forward made by the sector and everything we have achieved, we feel we were and we are on the right track.”

This year, the show will continue in its mission to provide a space in which exhibitors and visitors can efficiently “do business”, accompanied by a programme of seminars and debate on the evolving nature of the bulk wine industry. Between 70% and 80% of the bulk wine exported across the world can be found at the WBWE, making it the biggest gathering of bulk wine professionals in the business.

And with increasing pressure on global grape supply and prices, following a difficult 2017 vintage, Romero de Condes points out that the function of the bulk wine exhibition would be more valued than ever.

“2018 is going to continue to be a challenging year, as it was last year,” she said. “There is more demand than supply, but the existing supply will be at the WBWE. Those purchasers, brokers or wineries searching for wine – both base wines and great quality wines – cannot miss this year’s event. The WBWE is the right place to stock up whether you are looking for basic wine or for the ultimate Pinot Noir for your blend of excellent quality.”

The magic of bulk wine

Looking to the future of the exhibition, Romero de Condes noted the increasing visibility of producers from eastern Europe, which will continue to be a focal point of the industry.

“It goes without saying that we continue looking in the direction of the Eastern countries, but also to the new requirements due to the issues with the crops of traditional producing countries such as Spain, France or Italy,” she said.

The World Bulk Wine Exhibition will take place at Amsterdam’s RAI from 26-27 November.

“What occurs with the crops of the above countries is going to determine many aspects regarding this year’s WBWE. In any case, our job is to be prepared to provide the WBWE’s participants the best solutions so that their businesses won’t be impacted. This is also the magic of bulk wine.”

Summing up what visitors to this year’s 10th edition can expect, Romero de Condes states: “There is no other place in the entire world where it is possible to taste almost 80% of the global harvest of bulk wines during only two days. Everything is designed to do business. An area such as the Silent Tasting Room, where purchasers are absolutely free to taste the biggest quantity of available bulk wine in a global encounter, is the definitive incentive.

“In addition to the importance of having some of the world’s most renowned professionals. As we have said, we are impartial; thus, our aim is to provide an area in which the sector can feel comfortable, to grow and to help develop new areas, new wineries, new buyers. There is so much that is yet to be done.”

The World Bulk Wine Exhibition will take place at Amsterdam’s RAI from 26-27 November. For more information click here. 

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