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Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris 2024: ah, les italiens!

Last week the fifth edition of Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris was held, an event that is relaunching France’s role in the global landscape of trade fair events dedicated to wine.

A fair that has been constantly growing since the first edition, when it took over from Vinexpo Bordeaux, and which this year increased visitors by a further 14%, reaching 41,253 visitors, of which 41% were international from 137 different countries.

The most significant aspect is the increasingly internationalization of the Parisian event on the exhibitor side: this year 53% of the 4,074 exhibitors were foreign, coming from 48 countries.

As in 2023, also in 2024 Italy followed France for the number of wineries presenting their wines at the fair.

We therefore asked Alessandro Satin, a long-experienced wine export manager and owner of the Export 2 Business and Tendervino agencies for an evaluation of Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris, seen through the eyes of an Italian operator.

How did Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris was in general?

It certainly went well, with Italy very present. This fair is changing and growing from year to year, becoming more and more international. As an exhibiting country, France continues to be preponderant, but does not monopolize the attention of visitors. The pavilion dedicated to liqueurs and spirits is also interesting and very popular.

Visitor growth: quantity or also quality?

The visitor profile is absolutely good. Buyers from importers and distributors represent the vast majority, then we saw a few trade operators (sommeliers, restaurateurs) and rare wine enthusiasts. Considering the positive trend of Italian wine in France, the attentive and curious wine lover who is perhaps an opinion leader in his circle of acquaintances is also fine. However, no one showed up at the stand just to have a free drink.

And as countries of origin?

In the pavilion dedicated to Italy, we got buyers from all over the world. The Canadians were well present while few from U.S.A., I imagine they concentrated on French wines. There were also few Chinese, but many from the rest of Asia. Then all of Europe, Scandinavia and South America. The presence of French buyers was interesting, many specifically looking for prosecco and 0% alcohol wines.

During the last editions of ProWein it seemed that collective stands were not very busy, what was the situation like in Paris?

I personally was inside the ICE collective stand which did an excellent job. There were no differences in traffic between the collective areas and the individual stands, also due to the good presence of buyers from small to medium importers and therefore interested in the smaller-sized wineries that are normally found in the collective stands. However, there was a visible difference between the number of visitors to hall 2, dedicated entirely to Italy, and hall 5, shared between Italy and Spain.

Many comments have highlighted the logistical and organizational advantages of Paris compared to Dusseldorf and ProWein, do you agree?

The impact of the fair is irrelevant compared to the accommodation capacity of a city like Paris. Consequently, Parisian hotels, normally considered expensive, are convenient compared to the prices asked for in Dusseldorf and Verona in conjunction with ProWein and Vinitaly. The same goes for transport, catering, etc.

Regarding the organization at the fair, however, it could be improved in at least two aspects.

The first is that moving from one pavilion to another necessarily requires going outside and therefore having to cover yourself from the cold and/or rain.

The second is the matchmaking platform for planning meetings between exhibitors and visitors in advance: for the French wineries, buyers could also express their preference at the region/appellation level, while for the others only at the country level and this prevents them from being able to select precisely according to mutual interests.

However, it must be said that at Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris we worked both by appointment and with passing visitors.

Last question: will Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris replace Prowein in the trade fair strategies of Italian producers?Among us exhibitors it is a topic that has been discussed. I believe It will depend a lot on how ProWein 2024 goes, after the problems of the last edition.

Lorenzo Biscontin
Lorenzo Biscontin
Ventennale esperienza in aziende del settore cibo e bevande, lavora come consulente di gestione aziendale e marketing soprattutto in ambito viti-vinicolo. Scrive regolarmente di argomenti legati al vino.

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