While media attention was focused on trends like rosé and American whiskey, another part of the beverage industry blew up: conventions. Now, it seems that every city has their own convention devoted to their preferred niche topic. But, simultaneously, there’s been a Highlander style quickening; small and mid sized gatherings are consolidating to form industry powerhouses. Last week, the inaugural Wine Paris, the fusion of the Vinisud and VinoVision Paris conferences, carved out a spot for themselves in this crowded field.
From February 11 to 13, 26,700 people attended the first annual French show according to the organizers.
“Our collective determination to put France and its regions at the forefront of national and international trade in the wine sector has been a complete success”, said Pierre Clément, chairman of VinoVision Paris in a statement.
The show featured over 2000 exhibitors including about 800 wine producers. Although vinicultural product from some 24 countries were represented, France was at the forefront with the Rhône, Loire, and Languedoc the most heavily represented. (Not surprising to French wine enthusiasts given that Burgundy and Bordeaux need little marketing.)
Wine Paris pulled a diverse crowd of industry professionals including buyers, producers, somms, and merchants. The official tally reported that 30% of attendees hailed from international destinations. 51% of those foreign attendees traveled from the United States, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Germany and the Netherlands.
The main event featured a trade show style tasting, but there were also plenty of educational sessions and parties to keep the oenophiles busy. Plus, several satellite shows and activations sprung up around the gathering.
The Wine Paris team is already looking ahead to next year. In fact, management report that 70% of 2019 have already committed to returning for the followup. “2020 looks set to be an exceptional event!” Fabrice Rieu, chairman of Vinisud.