Bulk gets bulked up

Felicity Carter visits the bulk wine fair in Amsterdam and hears about the latest trends.

The World Bulk Wine Exhibition, Amsterdam
The World Bulk Wine Exhibition, Amsterdam

If you want to see what’s happening in the world of wine, the place to be is at the World Bulk Wine Exhibition that takes place each November in Amsterdam. Trends show up here first – if there is overproduction or shortages looming, it’s reflected in the bulk wine price. When wine is being sold at under a dollar a litre, as bulk wine often is, producers must be responsive to the market. The stands here have no extra frills.

One walk around the hall at this fair is a better indication of what’s happening in wine than a dozen research reports. It was clear that the premiumisation trend is affecting even the bulk end – the share of organic and sustainable wines is growing sharply. A visit to the tasting zone at the end of the hall also demonstrated that quality is getting better and better.

Not all the news was good, however.

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