Thousands of members of the wine industry will descend on the city of Bordeaux on May 13–16 for the latest iteration of Vinexpo. The wine-and-spirits trade show has reimagined its flagship Bordeaux event, organizing an ambitious symposium on climate change.
"In this highly competitive market, the Vinexpo group chose to make the flagship Vinexpo Bordeaux a more manageable size, whilst capitalizing on its high-level business positioning and strengthening both its appeal and the quality of its content," said Rodolphe Lameyse, Vinexpo's new CEO.
One of the main events of this year will be the "Act for Change" symposium. Winemakers face a multitude of challenges from climate change, which impacts the physiology of the vine and, consequently, the quality of the wines. But the industry is also at the forefront of interdisciplinary programs that combine agronomy, economics, genetics, sociology and enology to find creative solutions for those environmental challenges.
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Wine Spectator's Dana Nigro will moderate a panel titled "The Impact of Climate Change on Vineyard Management and Winemaking," asking, "How can research and technologies support producers in their evolution and adaptation strategies?" Panelists include Katie Jackson of Jackson Family, Miguel Torres Maczassek of Familia Torres, and Pau Roca, director general of the International Organization of Wine and Vine (OIV).
"It's the first time we've had this kind of event," said Lameyse. "We believe it will be a great success. Climate change is not only relevant for the wine industry, but also for the public."
The symposium will also take a close look at how a declining water supply, extreme weather events and rising temperatures impact global vineyards, as well as the impact of climate change on the wine economy, with strategies for integrating climate change into a business strategy. Experts include leading economists, producers and research scientists.
Although Vinexpo has scaled back the size of the trade show, they still expect 1,600 exhibitors from 29 countries, including first-timers Sweden, Turkey and Vietnam. Their popular WOW! (World of Organic Wines) event is back, showcasing 150 producers from nine countries. And in response to the growth of e-commerce and direct sales, there will be a talk by the CEOs of Vivino, Alibaba Tmall, Tannico, IWSR and Le Petit Ballon.
The symposium is meant to give the flagship Bordeaux show a unique identity, as it has lost attendance to other trade shows, particularly the German trade show powerhouse ProWein. "We provide business intelligence, business networking and a business-friendly environment," said Lameyse. "It's a good opportunity for doing business in a relaxed way—this isn't about elevator pitches." According to Lameyse, they will implement this kind of differentiation and reinvention worldwide. The same kind of rebranding is underway for the other Vinexpo shows in New York, Hong Kong, and soon Shanghai (October 2019) and Paris (January 2020).