Wine events calendar still uncertain

Some 2021 in-person events still planned, but many wait for 2022. Roger Morris gives an update.

Combined Vinexpo and Wine Paris event in February 2020
Combined Vinexpo and Wine Paris event in February 2020

The last major in-person wine trade event before the world was shut down by Covid-19 was most likely Vinexpo New York, held 3-4 March 2020 at the Jacob Javits Center, and attended by a few hundred wine producers, buyers and media. In the year since, there have been almost no “live” meetings of the more than a handful of people, and the global wine shows that didn’t cancel their 2020 events held them mostly virtually.

These cancellations have continued into the first half of 2021, but there are hopes that those planned for this summer can be held, as parts of the world achieve significant vaccination levels. Still, immediate plans remain iffy. Nevertheless, as Covid-related restrictions and lockdowns are gradually lifted, members of the professional wine community are ready to get back to work in-person as much as possible.

Listed here are updates of wine trade shows and related events for the remainder of 2021 and for 2022.

 

PRIMEURS WEEK. 26-29 April 2021, on a reduced scale in Bordeaux and elsewhere.

This year’s edition will be limited to a few elite industry professionals and media which the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux (UGCB) personally selects. “The initial target of the UGCB was to set up tasting sessions in New York and San Francisco to invite the US wine professionals,” explains CEO Ronan Laborde. “However, we cannot organize these, unfortunately. In this way, we have planned a collection and shipment of few tasting sets to a very limited number of merchants and press groups. This is the same thing the UGCB does in the UK." 

“Elsewhere,” he continues, “our association organizes tasting sessions in the following cities: Bordeaux, Paris, Brussels, Frankfurt, Zurich, Shanghai and Hong Kong from 26-29 April. These will welcome the wine pros in an ‘intimate’ atmosphere, inviting a limited number of attendees (six people in France, for example) to taste the whole selection of 2020 en primeurs (130 wines, approximately).”

More info: www.ugcb.net

 

LONDON WINE FAIR. 17-19 May 2021, held virtually

The 40th edition of LWF will be totally digital this year, and registration is now available at www.londonwinefair.com. According to the LWF, the digital show will be “the most advanced virtual show of its kind, with an unrivalled, ground-breaking, digital offering featuring outstanding tastings, unmissable industry sessions, one-to-one meetings with winemakers and importers, networking opportunities and more.”

 

WORLD BULK WINE EXHIBITION ASIA. 8-9 July 2021, in Yantai, China

Registration opened.

More info: www.wbweasia.com

 

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Hospices de Beaune / Credit: @domainesalbertbichot

HOSPICES DE BEAUNE. 21 November 2021, in Beaune

The 160th annual wine sale of the Hospices Civils de Beaune, traditionally held in November, was briefly delayed until 13 December 2020 and held under hybrid conditions with remote and in-person bidders. Only about 170 clients with 80 registered paddles were in physical attendance. The hybrid model achieved the second highest auction results ever: €14,333,209 / £13,043,220 / $17,343,183.

According to Cecile Mathiaud, media relations head of Vins de Bourgogne, the 2021 Hospices will be held “as usual” with full attendance.

More info: www.hospices-beaune.com

WORLD BULK WINE EXHIBITION. 22-23 November 2021, in Amsterdam

As have many cancelled or postponed trade shows, WBWE has tried to keep its audience updated and involved in the absence of in-person meetings, in this case with a series of talks. According to a WBWE communication: “Exporters, importers and distributors traditionally travel to the WBWE in Amsterdam to take the pulse of the global bulk wine market. They have a vital need to find out about volumes coming on-stream, inventories and pricing in the major producer countries, and also the way the main consumer markets are trending. With no physical event this year, the Bulk Wine Talks provided essential information for navigating the bulk wine market.”

Registration for this year’s November event has not yet opened.

More info: www.worldbulkwine.com

 

UNIFIED SYMPOSIUM. 25-27 January 2022, in Sacramento

Held virtually in 2021, California’s primary wine and grape symposium and trade exhibition is scheduled live for 2022.

For updates, check www.unifiedsymposium.org

 

WINE PARIS & VINEXPO PARIS. 4-16 February 2022, in Paris

The newly-joined wine event that had previously been held separately by the two organizations had its debut in February 2020 shortly before most world travel quickly slowed to a halt. It was not as fortunate in 2021 when the exhibition had to be cancelled.

The 2022 event promises “to gather all the French wine regions and a large number of international wine regions under one roof. The spirits industry will enjoy its own dedicated Be Spirits area. The event will also offer high-value solutions and content to maximize business opportunities and return on investment for attendees.”

More info: www.event.wineparis-vinexpo.com/2021/en/

 

WOW! MEETINGS. 12-13 February 2022, in Paris

Launched by Vinexpo 2017 as an auxiliary meeting for those producing or interested in buying wines produced from organic grapes, WOW! debuted in February 2020 as a prelude to the merged Vinexpo Paris and Wine Paris convention. It was cancelled in 2021 and will try again in 2022. 

The principle of the WOW! meetings is to adapt the concept of one-on-one business meetings to the world of organic and biodynamic wines. According to organizers, “Precision-targeted, pre-arranged networking between producers and buyers in a sensitively curated setting offers the guarantee of effective business meetings and secures a return on investment.”

More info: www.vinexposium.com/wow-meetings

 

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The last ProWein in 2019

PROWEIN. 27-29 March 2022, in Dusseldorf

One of the world’s most prestigious wine events, ProWein’s traditional March date meant that it was postponed both in 2020, when the pandemic first hit, and then again in 2021 as the lockdowns from Covid-19 lingered. Organizers hope the postponement to March 2022 will be the final delay

Meanwhile, dates for auxiliary regional events at present are:

•    ProWine Hong Kong – 12-14 May 2021 
•    ProWine Sao Paulo – 5-7 October 2021 
•    ProWine Shanghai – 9-11 November 2021
•    ProWine Singapore – TBA 2022

More info: www.prowein.com

 

VINITALY. Postponed to 10-13 April 2022, in Verona

While the 54th edition of the event has been cancelled for 2021, auxiliary events are at the moment still on the calendar, all to be held in Verona:

•    Vinitaly Design International Packaging Competition will be 11 June 2021.
•    Vinitaly 5 Stars Wine will be 16-18 June 2021.
•    OperaWine, a by-invitation sponsored event, is set for 19-20 June 2021.
•    Vinitaly International Academy is scheduled for 21-24 June 2021.

Regarding the Vinitaly postponement, Maurice Danese, president of the sponsoring Veronafiere, explains that, “The ongoing uncertainties within the national and international scenario and the extended lockdowns have prompted us to reschedule.” A "Vinitaly Special Edition" has been announced for October 2021.

For updates, check www.vinitaly.com.

 

VINEXPO. June 2022, in Bordeaux

According to press officer Camille Malamoy, exact dates for the June 2022 event have not been determined, and planning is still in progress. “It will be held in a different format,” she says, “maybe more like a business convention versus a traditional fair, and it will address both French and international wine professionals.”

More info: www.vinexposium.com/en/vinexpo-bordeaux

Dates for the regional Vinexpos are:

•    Vinexpo Shanghai – 20-22 October 2021
•    Vinexpo New York – March 2022
•    Vinexpo Hong Kong – 24-26 May 2022

 

AUCTION NAPA VALLEY. Permanently terminated.

Auction Napa Valley decided last year to retire its 40-year-old iconic charity extravaganza, last held in the summer of 2019, following the destruction by wildfire in late 2019 of its primary venue, Meadowood Resort, and then with the onset of the Covid-19 lockdowns in 2020.

In a press statement in November 2020, the organization said: “In June 2021, the organization will not be hosting Auction Napa Valley, and will instead take the next year to dream up and create a completely new platform for giving, one that may inspire others for the next 40 years.” Jack Bittner, vice-chair of the Napa Valley Vintners board, said, “Auction Napa Valley set the standard for world-class wine events, and we’re humbled to have inspired others to create countless events that have raised funds for many other worthy causes.”

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