New second generation Vinexpo

The 2015 Vinexpo is a turning point. It is the second generation, so says the new CEO, Guillaume Deglise.

The 40-year-old ex-champagne man, who took over from the mercurial Robert Beynat in 2013, was in London yesterday (January 20), outlining what he says is a new format that “combines business with entertainment”.

The trade exhibition takes place in Bordeaux between June 14 and 18.

The multilingual Deglise, who previously worked for Bollinger and Laurent-Perrier, said that Vinexpo Bordeaux remained a “must attend exhibition” with 48,000 visitors, from 120 countries and 2,400 exhibitors from 44 countries.

He outlined a raft of changes designed to improve the experience of attending the show for both exhibitors and visitors. First and foremost, there is a new tramline which will get participants from the city centre to the show site in 15-20 minutes.

Reminiscent of what the Tax Free World Association (TFWA) does at its shows to facilitate networking, Vinexpo will have an evening venue beside the Garonne river at Hangar 14 river in the centre, called “The Blend”. Open from 22.00 to 02.00 for four evenings, it is aimed at participants who, according to Deglise, have not been invited to the grand chateaux for tastings and dinner.

He acknowledged that food at previous shows had not been good. He said at 2015 it will be “fast, but good” with a diverse offering from Spanish tapas, Italian anti pasti to sushi. Also exhibitors wishing to continue a meeting or entertain will be able to bring their own wines.

The old Club du Lac will be replaced by Les Terrasses and will have openings in both hall one and lakeside. There will be a number of themed areas including free tasting areas, a digital area, food and wine pairing workshop with top chefs and a wellness centre to a logistics advice area.

Events outside of the actual exhibition were rather neglected under the previous regime. Whereas Deglise announced the Vinexpo Academy which will feature approximately 80 events over the five days and will include tastings and talks hosted by sommeliers, oenologists, economists and entrepreneurs, says the organisers.

The three free tasting areas will feature three themes: rosé, sparkling and sweet wines.

On the Wednesday, the 17th at 10.30, there will be a special focus on Africa, titled ‘The Enigma of Africa’. Total wine consumption in Africa reached 72 million 9-litre cases, equivalent to 863m bottles, an increase of 17% from 2008. Between 2014 and 2018 IWSR predicts it will rise a further 11% to 81.8m cases. Deglise said the special focus will “try and answer all the questions but the African market is a complex and each country is different.”

According to research by the IWSR, commissioned by Vinexpo, the global wine market (still and sparkling) is predicted to grow by 3.7% from now until 2018. The US leads with 339m 9-litre cases and is forecast to grow by +11.3%. France and Italy at number two and three, are expected to decline by -2.8 and -5.1% respectively while Germany, China, including Hong Kong and the UK are thought to increase by 1.1, +24.8 and +5.5% respectively.

Spirits represents approximately 15% of Vinexpo’s exhibitors. IWSR says volume consumption has grown by +19.1% between 2009 and 2013. It is expected to increase by a more modest +3.1 to 2018. Asia Pacific’s share to rise from 56% in 2009 to 63% in 2018.

Of the leading spirits categories, Baijiu is forecast to increase volume by +2.7% to 2018, followed by vodka (+0.5%), brandy (+3.9), rum (-7.6), scotch (+8.8), liqueurs (+2.6), bourbon (+19.3), gin/genever (-4.8), tequila (+11.7), cognac/armagnac (+12.7) with other spirits increasing by +5.6%.