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Vinexpo partners with Alibaba in China and reboots NYC event

Published:  20 June, 2017

Vinexpo has announced an agreement with leading Chinese online platform Alibaba to promote recognition of the exhibition brand in China and deliver a partnership with its annual 9 September wine fair.

Speaking to Harpers at Vinexpo in Bordeaux, Vinexpo CEO Guillaume Deglise said that this year’s event, “confirmed that the Chinese market is so important to us and the wine trade,” revealing that after France, “China is now the leading source of overseas visitors” to Vinexpo Bordeaux, followed by the US.

“There are two sides of the agreement, the first [focuses on] promotion and communication of our activities, through the Alibaba network, which is important for recognition and awareness of Vinexpo in China,” he said.

“The second part is that Alibaba run a wine festival on 9 September, a special date for wine. The translation of the number ‘nine’ is close to the word ‘wine’ in Mandarin, so 9 September will always be day of wine festival and this year the guest country of honour will be France.”

The reintroduction in March 2018 of the New York event comes 15 years after Vinexpo last ran a dedicated show in the US, but is to have a very different format, according to Deglise.

“This will be taking a b2b model to Manhattan, very business focused, targeting the three tiers of the US distribution system, also allowing producers to better understand the US market.”

Deglise, who took the helm at Vinexpo ahead of the last edition, has driven a more proactive than reactive approach with the brand, also shaping the Bordeaux show to better reflect the global trends affecting the wine world.

“What is key for us is being more active to the requirements of the trade, [introducing] new initiatives, that will reflect the trends of the market and the future of the market,” continued Deglise.

“We work on projection surveys with IWCR, which allows us to identify trends for the future, and the organisation in Bordeaux reflects those projections. And it’s been a success – we listened to organic producers and have a big focus, with smaller stands and greater flexibility – also with the organisation of exhibitors generally reflecting famous brands and family producers as a community of wine, rather than being organised by country.”

Vinexpo research confirms the major trend in global wine consumption as being away from Europe, with China and the United States as the major growth markets.

Europe currently accounts for 64% of global wine consumption, but this is predicted to fall to a 59% share of the total market by 2020 as China, the US and other markets continue to fast grow.