What to look out for at Vinexpo Paris and Wine Paris

The wine trade will be flocking to the City of Light next month as Vinexpo Paris and Wine Paris are held simultaneously for the first time. We bring you the highlights of the three-day event, which takes place at the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles.

This year has already proved to be a milestone year for both Vinexpo and Wine Paris. Next month’s show (10-12 February) is the first time that the two shows will be held together, and marks Vinexpo’s first major event in the French capital.

This month, it was announced that this relationship would be further developed.

The organiser of Wine Paris, Comexposium, and Vinexpo Holding announced that they would be creating “a new joint-venture entity”, an agreement that will be completely formalised by the summer.

A press release said the two event organisers would join forces to become “the world’s leading organiser of events dedicated to wines and spirits, with annual figures of over 78,000 visitors from 140 countries and 5,900 exhibitors”.

The new entity will see each business have an equal stake, and together host 10 events: Wine Paris (Vinisud/ Vinovision Paris), World Wine Meetings and The World Bulk Wine Exhibition (Amsterdam and Asia) from Comexposium; Vinexpo (Bordeaux, Paris, Hong Kong, Shanghai and New York), as well as the Vinexpo Explorer events from Vinexpo Holding.

In 2019, Comexposium’s shows turned over €8 million (£1.01m), while Vinexpo brought in €11m. The two companies estimate that their new combined turnover this year will reach €23m.

The joint venture follows the announcement in May 2019 that the two companies intended on working with each other for this month’s show.

Speaking exclusively to db, Vinexpo CEO, Rodolphe Lameyse, said that the Vinexpo-Comexposium partnership would “challenge German supremacy”, referring to trade show ProWein, which is held in Düsseldorf.

While Lameyse stressed his respect for ProWein, he also noted that it was strange that France, a country famed for its wine and spirits production, should not be the leading host country for an alcoholic drinks trade fair.

He told db that since taking on the role of CEO in April 2019, he had been “working very closely with Wine Paris and the Comexposium management on how to build a French company that will become a worldwide leader, and will challenge German supremacy”.

In light of this information, what can attendees expect at the February show?

Rodolphe Lameyse

Vinexpo Paris

Vinexpo’s first show in the City of Light will now sit alongside others held in Bordeaux, Hong Kong, New York and Shanghai. The show will be divided into three new areas: Wow! World of Organic Wines, dedicated to organic and biodynamic wines and spirits; L’Avenue, which centres on major brands; and Be Spirits, a new concept that has been developed by Vinexpo.

Be Spirits, an area dedicated to spirits and mixology, will feature the Infinite Bar – a 50-metre long bar, showcasing 24 spirits brands and 24 mixologists from top Paris bars. Also on offer will be a series of conferences led by industry experts including consultant and writer Alexandre Vingtier, distillery owners and bartenders, covering the latest trends in the industry, grouped under two themes: Be Mixology and Be Brand.

The discussions grouped under Be Mixology will provide an analysis of the current and future trends in the spirits world, including the rise of no and low-ABV serves, the cocktail consumption experience, and bar identity. Be Brand, meanwhile, will offer topics including the revival of ancient alcohols, commitment to conserving the environment, and developing new spirits brands and customised products.

A series of round-table discussions and conferences will be held throughout the show, focusing on tackling challenges in the industry, led by experts working in fields such as finance and science.

The Vinexpo Academy will also offer a range of masterclasses and tastings, hosted by Masters of Wine, top sommeliers and spirits experts. Among them will be Marc Almert, ASI Sommelier of the World 2019, who will be leading a blind tasting.

The Vinexpo exhibitor list is now available online, allowing attendees to refine their search by wine or spirit category, grape variety or pavilion number. Both Vinexpo Paris and Wine Paris will also jointly present a range of international wines in a new venue. Located in Hall 7, it will bring together wines from 20 countries, and represent a total of 60 wine regions from different countries around the world.

Wine Paris

Pascale Ferranti

Wine Paris was established in 2019 following the merger of Vinisud, a show dedicated to wines from the Mediterranean, and VinoVision Paris, which featured cool-climate wines from all over France.

The show brings together 13 French wine marketing boards, and among the new features at this year’s show will be three wine talks focusing on taste perception, organic and environmentally friendly initiatives, and innovation. The ‘Wine Talks’ will be held in Hall 6, and one will take place on each day of the three-day show.

In Hall 4, Wine Paris will also host a series of forward-looking debates about the challenges facing the French wine industry, called So International. Also new this year are six themed itineraries for those looking to achieve particular goals at the trade show. For example, one targets wine merchants wishing to develop retail listings, while another highlights producers with unusual grape varieties, allowing distributors to broaden their ranges.

Wine Paris has also introduced a networking app called Wine Match to maximise return on investment for all participants through pre-arranged appointments during the show. The aim is to encourage exhibitors and visitors to plan their appointments and engage with other people and businesses via the app.

The 2020 event will also see the return of tasting areas manned by Vinisud and Vinovision; a programme of 30 masterclasses; a discovery zone, courtesy of Wine Mosaic; and the New Wave section, featuring 40 young producers seeking distribution in France.

Commenting on this year’s show, Pascale Ferranti, director of Wine Paris, says: “Our objective is to strengthen Wine Paris’ collective aspect and make it even more inclusive. Wine Paris is synonymous with sharing and diversity, welcoming winegrowers from every vineyard site and appellation across the globe.

“Our ambition is to enhance the dynamics within the industry to give business an even greater boost. There are countless examples that we want to show off to highlight the way the industry is constantly adapting to change, through innovation; the focus on quality by passionate winegrowers; and work methods firmly focused on the future, running the gamut of environmentally friendly and organic initiatives.”

She adds: “Our aim is also to become a benchmark for the global wine trade, spearheaded by French wines. We aim to combine unique offerings with a local welcome and support a new lease of life within the wine industry. Ultimately, Wine Paris’ remit is to make these three days absolutely essential for French and international buyers and to get Paris beating to the rhythm of wine.”

Vinexpo Paris and Wine Paris will be held from 10 to 12 February at the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles. Vinexpo Paris will be open to visitors from 9am to 7pm (except Wednesday 12 February, when the show’s doors will close at 5pm).

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