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See and be seen

Published:  23 July, 2008

Having just returned from the London International Wine & Spirits Fair, probably the last thing you want to think about is another exhibition. But MiWine, which claims to showcase the finest spirits and wine makers throughout Italy as well as exhibitors from other producing countries, takes place from 12-14 June in Milan.

The exhibition centre is clustered in two attached, clearly signposted halls, and is close to three airports and 581 hotels with direct bus, underground and train links.

The organisers wish to assure exhibitors and visitors that room temperatures will be comfortable, there will be a plentiful supply of accessible refreshments, staff, clean glassware and spitoons.

In 2004, the show boasted 1,200 exhibitors and 25,000 visitors from 41 countries. Exhibitors included Marchesi Antinori, Miguel Torres, Chteau Mouton Rothschild, Joseph Drouhin and Robert Mondavi.

Exhibitors this year include top Italian wine producers such as Donnafugata and Tasca d'Almerita, boutique producers including Dino Torti, consortiums such as that of Brunello di Montalcino (each with a large representation of their producers) and organisations including Le Donne del Vino (the Italian Women of Wine).

The number of non-Italian exhibitors will be even more extensive this year, says trade show organiser Fiera Milano, with premium-quality wines coming from Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Argentina, South Africa, Hungary, France, Germany, Portugal, Spain and the US.

Fiera Milano says it is subsidising the cost of its exhibition space to assist potential exhibitors, with shell schemes starting from less than 300/204 per square metre.

There are further incentives for foreign exhibitors, such as subsidised travel.

The organisers claim the exhibitor benefits continue after 14 June. For participating exhibitors, there is a marketing programme of international events in which producers can choose to participate.

The 'MiWine World' circuit is a calendar of events and exhibitions in Italy and abroad, where Fiera Milano and MiWine help producers gain a foothold in promising markets.

This year MiWine was at eight international wine and spirit fairs (such as the WSWA Convention in Las Vegas, Prowein in Dsseldorf and the Seoul International Wine & Spirits Expo), promoting the exhibition and its participants in these growing markets.

This month at Harrods, MiWine is sponsoring the Italian wine department, including a MiWine-sponsored window next to the food halls on Hans Crescent, a large selection of Italian wines within Harrods that will be present at this year's exhibition, and promotions within Harrods' Tapas Bar, Georgian Restaurant and Pizzeria.

Educational seminar programme

Among the series of seminars on offer at the show, highlights include:

'The Future of the Closure Industry',

a debate led by David Skalli of Skalli & Rein, will feature presentations from the top wine-closure suppliers.

The Bocconi University will present the results of its research project, 'The Wine Market of Milan'. Carried out in co-operation with MiWine, the study focuses on Italy's top market for wine and spirit consumption.

Civilt del Bere will host an event with some of the world's leading oenologists, examining their 'unique and artistic role' in the global production of wine.

Bar Giornale magazine hosts 'Spirits World: Old & Young', a seminar which will feature an educational tasting of the world's finest 'mature' spirits (whisky, Cognac and Armagnac) and the young guns of the cocktail culture.

A special food and wine tasting and round table of the best European wine producers will be organised by Art magazine. The event will include the top wines from Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Switzerland, Greece, Germany, Slovenia, Hungary and Romania.

The chefs from the Unione Italiana Ristoratori will create 'The Island of Flavours', an Italian food- and wine-matching event.

An ASI (Association de la Sommellerie International) seminar of international sommeliers will examine wine-drinking trends in their respective markets, including the role of indigenous wines.

Le Donne del Vino (Women of Wine) will discuss the role of women in today's wine industry and present a series of awards to prominent women in the trade.

Guided regional wine tours

Fiera Milano is inviting buyers and journalists to participate in their choice of 'Enotour' - guided wine tours to top-quality cellars in some of the main wine-producing regions in Italy and the rest of Europe.

Confirmed regions to date are Sicily, Abruzzo, Tuscany (Grosseto) and Lombardy. Scheduled from the end of the event until 20 June, the Enotours provide participants with an in-depth knowledge of specific regions and additional opportunity to create new business opportunities and supplier contacts.

MiWine in the City

Fiera Milano has joined with the Lombardy regional authorities, the Milan Chamber of Commerce and the FIPE (Italian Federation of Bars and Caterers) to create 'MiWine in the City', a selection of some of Milan's best wine bars and restaurants that will feature a MiWine menu of wines from the exhibition, and give tastings to their customers. MiWine exhibitors therefore will gain consumer as well as trade exposure.

Travel and hospitality services for visitors and exhibitors MiWine provides a travel service for foreign visitors and exhibitors through Meeting Milano, the exclusive integrated reception and hospitality service of Fiera Milano, along with Alitalia, the official carrier of the exhibition.

Fact file

MiWine hotel packages: Two nights in a three- or four-star hotel including breakfast, with free transfers to and from the airport and exhibition hall, are available starting from 200/136.

MiWine discounted flights: Alitalia is offering discounts to all MiWine professional visitors and exhibitors. For details and conditions, MiWine attendees should call 0870 544 8259 and quote the event code 'WL'.

MiWine car sharing service: Reserve online through the website

Meeting Milano card: A pass for services reserved for MiWine visitors and exhibitors. It includes restaurant reservations, purchase of theatre, concerts and football tickets, facilitation for visiting museums and delivery of shopping directly to the hotel.

MiWine visitors will find Meeting Milano info points at:

Malpensa Airport (Terminal 1, arrivals, gate 5), from 7am to 11pm.

Linate Airport (arrivals), from 7.30am to 11.30pm.

Fiera Milano district (inside the service centre), from 10am to 6.30pm.

Visitors can contact the hospitality service of Fiera Milano and confirm their participation by sending an email to, calling +39 024997 7610 or sending a fax to + 39 024997 6766. Entrance to MiWine is free but subject to registration. Foreign visitors should register at