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Vinexpo 2015 set for radical revamp after producers felt 'cut off'

Published:  20 January, 2015

Exhibitors and visitors to this summer's Vinexpo in Bordeaux can expect to be "wowed" by a completely different type of trade show, which is looking to be more welcoming to producers from outside its Bordeaux heartland. 

Exhibitors and visitors to this summer's Vinexpo in Bordeaux can expect to be "wowed" by a completely different type of trade show, which is looking to be more welcoming to producers from outside its Bordeaux heartland. 

Guillaume Deglise, who took over from Robert Beynat as chief executive after the last Vinexpo Bordeaux in 2013, has spent the last 18 months "talking and listening" to existing and prospective exhibitors about what they thought needed doing to an event that had widely been seen as having been surpassed by Prowein as the trade's most important show.

VinexpoVinexpo's 2015 show has undergone a radical revampThe show, under new leadership of Guillaume Deglise, has taken on board feedback from exhibitors in time for its 2015 event.

For Deglise it has meant creating a totally different type of show that he promises will bring the "wow" factor back to Vinexpo. Ultimately he wants both visitors and exhibitors to genuinely "want to go to Bordeaux" and has set out to put on a show that is both good for business but also a true celebration of wine and spirits.

"I want people when they arrive at Vinexpo to realise they are at a very different show with a very different experience," said Delgise.

He said going out and talking to exhibitors has been crucial in re-engaging with producers who said they had felt a "little cut off" from the previous management team. "We have built up a  new dialogue with them which has been very important."

"Vinexpo is a show for our exhibitors. We are there to support the industry and we need to listen to our exhibitors and take on board what they say," he added. 

One of the key innovations being introduced for Vinexpo 2015 will be a series of free tasting areas highlighting two of the most on-trend categories in wine - rosé and sparkling wine - and a third showcasing the sweet wines of the world.

These Tasting Flight zones will be situated in the centre of the show and are being run in association with the Enomatic tasting system and cork producer Amorim, to ensure wines are presented in the best tasting environment. Tenders will go out to producers to pitch wines to be selected for each area with 60 wine slots available that will showcase different styles of wine across all price points from around the world.

Each wine will include their booth number so that interested buyers can go and visit them at the show.

Deglise said he was aware of the perception some global producers have, particularly in other areas of France, that Vinexpo is too biased towards the chateaux of Bordeaux. The Tasting Flight areas were one way to show the new Vinexpo offers a fair platform for wineries from anywhere in the world, stressed Delgise.

Another key feature of Vinexpo 2015 will be a more focused spirits exhibition, featuring a central section called Spiritual where bartenders and mixologists will help "bring spirits to life" by creating cocktails and talking about how different spirits brands work for them, rather than being a number of suppliers standing around their booths. The concept proved a success when it was first introduced during Vinexpo Asia last year.

The content of the show is also being revamped with special conferences on key growing wine countries of the world including the United States and Africa.

One of Deglise's biggest ambitions was to connect Vinexpo far more with the city of Bordeaux. He is particularly excited about a new late night venue, The Blend, that will be set up for the duration of Vinexpo beside the river in downtown Bordeaux where visitors and exhibitors will be able to go and network between 10pm and 2am each night of the show.

The Blend will showcase different wine countries every evening and guests will be able to choose from 60 different types of wine from each country.

Transport to and from the show will also be greatly improved by the fact Bordeaux's tram system will now be able to take visitors from the centre of Bordeaux within 20 minutes.

The restaurant and catering area at Vinexpo is being switched from what was effectively a parking area to being beside the lake. It will feature two standalone restaurants, one of which is a pop up of Michelin starred Paris restaurant Les 110 de Taillevent. It is renowned for its wine list of 110 wines by glass, which it will also offer at Vinexpo. A London outpost of the French restaurant is set to open later in 2015. The other restaurant will be run by Vinexpo alongside Parisian VIP catering firm Potel Chabot. There will also be a host of smaller street style food vans offering food from around the world including sushi, tapas and burgers.

He said the success of Vinexpo 2015, whihc takes place from June 14 to 18, will also rest in a closer relationship with the Parc des Expositions and the changes it is making to ensure the show is as efficient as possible.