What attracts a luxury Mayfair wine retailer and a boutique wine shop based in London’s fashionable Borough Market in SE1, to come to visit Vinexpo Bordeaux this summer (June 18-June 21)? The reason is simple: over 2,350 exhibitors from 45 countries– combined with the networking clout of a biannual average of 48,000 visitors.
Take Hedonism Wines, the well-known Mayfair wines and spirits retailer-cum-wine bar based in Davies Street, London W1, for example. With its product range checking 10,500 lines, including large format bottles of up to 27 litres, and 900 products on offer at under £30, Hedonism’s managing director Alister Viner needs to be certain he’s going to get a good choice of different, niche, specialist products with a primary (but not exclusive) focus on the top end of the market –which is where Vinexpo Bordeaux hits the spot for Hedonism every time.
Alister says: “Vinexpo Bordeaux without a doubt represents the top end of the market for us’ it’s much more than just a middle-range exhibition. We come here for a meet, greet and catch-up with the top Bordeaux producers and decision-makers from across the world, especially US producers.’
So it’s all about the networking? Alister says he is looking for more than simply establishing or cementing good contacts. “Meeting the top Bordeaux producers as well as decision-makers from across the world means together we can plan promotions at the top end of the market that are going to produce a buzz. We’re always looking for ideas, products and events outside the box – and it’s at Vinexpo that we can make it happen. For instance, we’ll have say, 20 ‘negotiants’ meetings prearranged, plus all the additional meetings I’ll make just from being there.”
Across town, Muriel Chatel, managing director of Borough Wines in London, is a regular visitor to Vinexpo. Trading on its organic, biodynamic reputation catering for a discerning, locally based clientele whose environmentally aware tastes and ‘ethical’ requirements can be demanding, is a constant challenge for Muriel.
“We always go to Vinexpo,” she says. “This year I’ll go with our buyer looking to source New World wines. There’s so much on offer I know we’ll discover some really interesting products that will appeal to our environmentally-aware customers.
From a small stall in Borough Market in 2002, today there are seven Borough Wines Shops across London, with an eighth in the seaside town of Hastings, plus a wholesale arm, Expression du Terroir, supplying the on–trade and independent retailers including over ten Borough Wines Corners nationwide.
“Our range is handpicked, containing over 300 wines—including a number of natural, organic and biodynamic bottles—as well as a great selection of local and international craft beers and boutique spirits,” Muriel says proudly, “so this year’s WOW! exhibition (World of Organic Wine) is a must-visit for us. As a visitor, I recommend the Club area of the fair for great networking and contact-making. This is what Vinexpo does really well.”
WOW! At VINEXPO Bordeaux 2017 is a first, featuring an area totally dedicated to organic and biodynamic wines, hosting 200 producers looking to appeal to trade insiders looking for wines crafted by artisan wine-makers. There will also be talks and round-table meetings themed around organic viticulture. The WOW! Restaurant will be all-organic, catering for all environmentally ethical tastes.
Chilean wine-grower Erruzuriz has chosen Vinexpo to highlight an important birthday. As its president, Eduardo Chadwick Claro says, “We are celebrating our 145th anniversary at VINEXPO with ‘A Retrospective’ showcasing our vintages from 1999, 2003 and 2009 and an ‘Historical Tasting’ featuring vintages that represent the uniqueness of each decade from 1983, 1993, 2006 and the most recent, 2015.” Mr Eduardo Chadwick Claro added, “We are thrilled to be at Vinexpo again, we have been coming here since 1985 as we love the fact that it’s the European centre for wine.”
From production to shipment, VINEXPO brings all representatives of the wine and spirits life cycle together in one place. This is the reason JF Hillebrand, the leading international service provider specialized in the logistics of wine, beer and spirits with over 170 years experience, attended in 2015 and will be exhibiting again this year.
Christophe Bernard, CEO of JF Hillebrand Group, said: “As CEO of JF Hillebrand Group, world leader in wine, spirits and beer international logistics, I am delighted to continue this partnership with Vinexpo which gathers in one single location so many of our worldwide customers and partners over a 4-day period. It also provides us with the opportunity to meet and assist our clients ‘on the spot’ when it comes to international logistics.”